Bill Duke was one of the first Black men directing, acting and producing. He details the challenges and victories of his career in his memoir, Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career On Screen And Behind The Camera.
Sybil calls the book “inspirational,” and adds that it’s so good that her friends will be getting copies of it for Christmas.
Duke feels “very fortunate to have people who care” about him to get him through the hardest times. He credits his friend and mentor, Michael Schultz with giving him his first big break as an actor.
As a six foot five dark skin man he found it challenging for people to see his humanity and at times, take him seriously.
A challenge that sticks out in his mind is being mistaken for a delivery man when he was working as one of the only black directors on Dallas. When he arrived to work the security guard asked who he was delivering for. He was so upset that he wanted to say “I want to deliver to you a can of whop ass,” but he held his composure.
You can read all of his stories in the book that comes out on Nov. 16.