Pam Grier At 70: “They Only Gave Me 18 Months To Live”
… out there to understand the emotional trauma that is involved in sexual aggression and abuse and that not all of us get over it or even survive the abuse,” she says about her decision to finally reveal the incidents. “I have that opportunity to speak about this as the icon—the object and let others know that in spite of it all, I am still here.”
Her path to stardom began a little later when she moved to Los Angeles in 1967 from her native North Carolina at the age of 18. She set her sights on the UCLA film school, doing five different jobs, one of them as a receptionist at film company, American International Pictures. Her five-job stint was short-lived as she was discovered by Jack Hill, a director who cast her in his “women in prison” B-movies.
“You know, I had to bump heads with a lot of men in the industry,” Grier says. “They were not comfortable with showing a progressive black female in an action role. As a strong woman, I was seen as a threat. There was a fear that women would mimic me in real life. I remember certain people saying: ‘Oh, she’s taking our jobs, she’s castrating men’ – as far as I was concerned, I thought: ‘We don’t need to walk behind you, we should walk beside you.'”
Pam still does movies, and is an advocate against a number of diseases including HIV. She also has not one, but two doctorates! Yes, it’s Dr. Foxy Brown! She received her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2011. That same year, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Langston University
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