In a speech at the BET Awards on Sunday, world-renowned actor Samuel L. Jackson made us laugh and think while accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award for his incredible work over the years.
Jackson told a crowd that he found a passion for acting, thanks to his “Aunt Etna,” and said that “she was the spark. So thank you. Love you so much for that,” according to The Huffington Post:
“It’s been a great ride getting here, and there’s a couple of people who are very instrumental in that. My Aunt Etna was the first person to put me in a costume of any sort,” Jackson told the audience. “She was the performing arts’ fourth grade teacher in Chattanooga, Tennessee and she was in charge of making sure the Negros performed for the white school board. She never had enough boys and I lived in the house with her, so she lit the fire that started all this.”
The actor is also a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
In a speech presenting the prestigious award to his longtime friend, producer and fellow Morehouse man Spike Lee said, “We’ve all witnessed his performances and his drive,” referring to Jackson.
Lee added, “Sam is the hardest working man in show business!”
“I had the pleasure of meeting Samuel L. Jackson way, way back in 1975 on the mighty campus of Morehouse College. Sam had graduated from the house in 1972 and was still doing theater in Atlanta,” Lee said. “I knew then and there, God-willing, one day we would work together. And I’m here to say, let’s not get it twisted, he’s one of the greatest actors on this God’s planet.”
The black college graduate had also become a trending topic during the awards last night, check out some tweets below.
Samuel L Jackson is an example of why not to sleep on HBCU students! We Outchea
— RIP tootie (@jasmineeeeeee__) June 27, 2016
— zillahjacksonwesley (@zillahjwesley) June 27, 2016
Samuel L Jackson is a HBCU graduate too.. Great things come out of HBCU’s ✊
— ✨ (@love_shaaay) June 27, 2016