Actor Stan Houston was destined to play the role of one of the most notorious characters in southern civil rights history, Sheriff Jim Clark in the movie, “Selma.”
Case in point:
Houston lives in the small Alabama town where Clark lived and died. Oprah Winfrey played the role of Annie Lee Cooper, the civil rights activist who was repeatedly denied the right to vote. Cooper was the step-mother to deceased and beloved Hill District resident Dewayne Cooper. In the movie, Annie Cooper is mercilessly beaten with a billy club by Clark, which was seen around the world on national TV.
“Selma was a story that needed to be told,” said Houston, a Blakely, Ga., native who turned down the role of Clark twice.
“Where I grew up in Georgia, it didn’t desegregate until the 1970s. My dad owned a gas station and I remember seeing the colored and White only signs. “I see both sides living here in south Alabama. We’ve been here for over 300 years. We should all get along,” continued Houston who began his acting career in 2008. “Civil Rights was briefly mentioned when I was in high school. Selma was never mentioned. I was educated on ‘Bloody Sunday’ when I was a student at Albany State University.”