Veteran Actor Danny Glover Awakened Us - And Got Us Woke - At The Harris Center In Folsom

Veteran Actor Danny Glover Awakened Us - And Got Us Woke - At The Harris Center In Folsom

By Michael P Coleman

Monday night in Folsom, I told legendary actor, activist, and social change agent Danny Glover that he has earned a handful of Academy Awards that he has never received, as he paved the way for the Denzel Washingtons, Will Smiths, and Mahershala Alis of the world. 

That exchange occurred 67 minutes into an event at the Harris Center that had started out as a somewhat lethargic affair, after the star of The Color Purple, Places In The Heart, the Lethal Weapon franchise and countless other acclaimed films began fielding questions from the surprisingly small audience of a couple of hundred.

The snooze-worthiness of the evening’s first hour or so wasn’t the star’s fault.  At 73 years old, Glover is as mentally spry as ever, displaying a command of American history that people half of his age would struggle to summon. Although he rambled at times, reminding me of that uncle who just won’t stop talking about yesteryear’s bygone days, Glover has earned the right to shuffle onstage in cozy clothes, flick his baseball cap onto a perfectly-positioned end table, plop into a plush chair, and enchant an intimate group of fans about his life and career — while outwardly ruminating about the challenges our society faces. 

Simply put, the incomparable Glover deserved a better moderator. I had been unaware of KFBK’s Kitty O’Neal, and maybe she was just having an off night, as I have to believe she is a far more effective radio news anchor than she is a conversation facilitator.   While seeming pleasant and well-intentioned, O’Neal also came off as not terribly well researched and somewhat bored during her chat with Glover.  At one point about halfway during the show, I thought O’Neal had dozed off — along with several members of the audience.

But at the end of the day and our mid-event siesta, we were all there to chat with Glover, a true Tinseltown legend, and the Harris Center delivered on that promise.  Attendees who bowed out early and left before the Q & A missed the real show, when Glover spoke of the need for comprehensive prison reform before admonishing an audience member to forgo some of his bravado and focus on the role he could play in making our world a better place. 

It was great advice for all of us. 

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300Click here to connect with Detroit-made, Sacramento-housed freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.