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Jurnee Smollett visits Budapest

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Published on Mar 2, 2011

Award-winning African American actress Jurnee Smollett visited Budapest between March 1 and March 3 to highlight U.S. Embassy Budapest's event series celebrating Black History Month 2011. The visit of the actress was part of the State Department's Speaker program. Ms. Smollett talked to a number of audiences including various high school and university student groups and a group of important cultural figures of the Hungarian society. She talked about the importance of Black History Month and the achievements of famous African American leaders as well as the historical background of the movie "The Great Debaters", in which she played a leading role, and about the civil rights movement.

More info:
http://hungary.usembassy.gov/event_03...

Transcript of the interview:

I am here in Budapest to bring Black History Month. I was invited by the U.S. Embassy here, and so we're talking about the Civil Rights Movement, we're talking about different African American leaders, who have contributed to certain freedoms that we now enjoy in America, we're talking about arts, the arts and how African American artists have contributed to our American culture. And I myself am an actress in American, and I've been fortunate enough to work with great American artists and actors, and we're showing a few of the films that I've done here in Budapest, like The Great Debaters we showed, and I think a few people have seen some of the television shows that I'm currently on too, which was fun. I really enjoyed speaking with the young people here in Budapest. They are so bright and curious. At first they are a little shy and at first they are a little timid, but our visits to some of the schools have been so enlightening to me, and they've been food for my soul in a way, because interacting with these young people I've learned a little bit more about the Hungarian culture here. And just to hear them speak, and hear them speak about frustrations they have here, and certain obstacles that they see that their culture has, certain prejudices that exist here in Budapest, and I've heard them say that they wanted to change, and we've tried to tie that into the African American history and how African Americans were oppressed at a point, and were demeaned in certain situations, and I tried to share experiences and a little bit of our history in order to show that communities can overcome anything.

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