Sat 7 February 2009, The Guardian

No, seriously

By Simon Hattenstone
Lenny Henry says he knows just how Othello must have felt. At school, there were only three black kids in the whole place. "There'd be a fight everyday over words. Coon, wog, nigger, OK, bang! I'm on the floor with this guy. I can't really fight, but I'm having to because he called me that." He smacks his fist against his hand in anger, the memory still raw. "Then, when I did the clubs, there might be one other black person in the room, and at the working men's clubs I'd definitely be the only black person there. So the play resonates with me because wherever I've been for a lot of my career, I was pretty much the only black guy. When Roderigo says, 'What a full fortune does the thick lips owe, If he can carry't thus', that's him calling Othello the worst name you can think to call somebody."
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