David Oyelowo takes on the role of a lifetime

January 8, 2015 10:41 PM

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David Oyelowo takes on the role of a lifetime

Midway through Lee Daniels’ The Butler, 2013’s true-story portrait of a black man who worked at the White House under eight presidents, the character played by David Oyelowo is in a room with an actor in the role of Martin Luther King Jr.

Oyelowo’s Louis Gates, the radicalized son of the titular servant played by Forest Whitaker, is talking to the civil rights leader, a champion of nonviolent protest. It’s a telling moment, with King addressing the “subversive role of the black domestic” in American life.

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