Leprosy Colony Kalaupapa in Hawaii: How Paradise Became Hell | radioTravel | Bavaria 2 | radio

Moloka’i is one of the smaller Hawaiian islands. Just under 8,000 people live there, plus another 1,000 tourists – but that’s little compared to the other, overcrowded islands. Moloka’s motto is “the friendly island”. Like almost every visitor who comes to Moloka’i, the first thing I do is go to one of the most beautiful vantage points on the island: the Kalaupapa Overlook. From here you can see almost the entire north coast of Molokai: 22 kilometers of coastline with cliffs that are up to 1000 meters high – according to some calculations, the highest sea cliffs in the world. There is no street here, hardly any people. The coast is completely inaccessible, rugged and repellent – except for a small patch. The Kalaupapa Peninsula.

For decades people who had leprosy were exposed there. The sick were separated from their families, forced into Kalaupapa and more or less left to their own devices – at least in the first decades of the leprosy colony. What looks like a little tropical paradise from up here has become hell for the residents.

I was fascinated by this story. So I really want to get down there. But it’s not that easy. If you want to go to Kalaupapa, you need a pass from Hawaii’s health authorities and the national park and basically only have three options: by plane (extremely expensive), hiking on foot (extremely exhausting) or being carried by a mule. I choose the mules.

I was fascinated by this story. So I really want to get down there. But it’s not that easy. If you want to go to Kalaupapa, you need a pass from Hawaii’s health authorities and the national park and basically only have three options: by plane (extremely expensive), hiking on foot (extremely exhausting) or being carried by a mule. I choose the mules.

Mules on autopilot

And so the next day at seven in the morning I stand in front of a stable that looks like something out of an old Western film. In addition to me, there are twelve other visitors in the group. We watch like a couple of Mule Skinner, that’s the name of the mule drivers who pull Mulis out of the barn. Sali, the head of Mule Skinner, tells us that mules basically work like cars: pulling in reins to stop, small kick for going forward. “But actually the Mulis Auto-Pilot are running. You don’t have to do much, ”he reassures us. I am given a red-brown mule with a white mane and white mouth named Makani. This is Hawaiian and means “wind”.

Sali explains to us what we have in front of us: 520 vertical meters down in 26 hairpin bends, 5 kilometers the way. And then it starts. For an hour and a half the mules struggle down the stony, narrow path – always between rock and abyss. They always look very carefully before setting their hooves. While I have to hold onto the steep places so that it doesn’t lift me off the saddle. Once we reach the bottom, we have to ride along a piece of coastline – where huge waves break on washed, black chunks of volcanic rock.

Leprosy patients still live on Kalaupapa

We leave the mules on a pasture at the Mule Skinners and the whole group gets on a typical American, yellow school bus that has seen better days. Our tour guide is called Norman and is no longer the youngest. While driving us towards Kalaupapa Village, Norman explains that around a hundred people live on Kalaupapa today: “40 work for the Hawaiian Ministry of Health, 45 for the National Park, 14 are former patients.” A third of the patients live on Ohau most of the time because they need special care. “The others live here in the village, each in their own house. They are now 75 to 90 years old, ”says Norman.

Nobody has been forcibly instructed here since 1949. Since the discovery of special antibiotics in the 1940s, leprosy has been curable. But the patients who are still on Kalaupapa have been admitted before, often as children, and have decided to stay. Many simply felt at home after years on the peninsula. Some may also fear being treated elsewhere like the proverbial leper. Even when the tours are in the village, the patients stay in their homes. Understandable, because who wants to be gaped by a tour group in a school bus.

A sleepy village in complete seclusion

Our first stop: Norman stops the bus in front of a small shack with a tin roof and peeling paint, a small shop. But before we can get out he warns that we should be careful when crossing the street. “Leprosy affects patients’ eyesight. And many of the old patients are still driving AUTO here in Kalaupapa, ”he says half jokingly. Because actually there is not much going on in the village. All the time I only see another car besides our bus.

The scene exudes sleepy little town charm: scattered in the green are typical Hawaiian wooden houses with verandahs, there is a church and a few sports fields. In the midst of this idyll it is hard to imagine how hard life here used to be for leprosy patients. To do this, you have to go back in time:

Hell on Earth – the first years of the leprosy colony

In 1866 the first leprosy patients were brought to Kalaupapa. At that time, the Kingdom of Hawaii was still an independent state. But since James Cook was the first European to land on the islands ninety years ago, five out of six Hawaiians have died of imported diseases. And now another disease is spreading that was previously unknown to Hawaii: leprosy.

The mostly white owners of the sugar cane plantations in Hawaii fear that the disease will spread among their workers and are therefore putting pressure on the Honolulu parliament. This adopts a drastic solution to the problem: complete isolation. Anyone who shows symptoms of leprosy is arrested, separated from his family and friends, first placed in quarantine and shipped to Kalaupapa.

Life is very hard, especially for the first arrivals. In January 1867, a reporter for the Pacific Commercial Advertisers from Honolulu visited the peninsula. He is shocked by the conditions there: “People in all stages of the disease are thrown together – without medicine, without a doctor, without consolation, only equipped with what is absolutely essential for life and, in addition, on hunger rations”.

The last stop on our tour is a bay where the patients came ashore at the beginning of the colony. It is often said that patients were pushed into the water here and had to swim ashore. But Norman thinks this only happened “if the weather and the sea didn’t allow it otherwise, or if patients didn’t want to come here and refused to leave the ship.” Most of the patients probably came ashore by boat.

Coming to Kalaupapa was a death sentence

But even if they had firm ground under their feet again, everything only got worse. Because the Board of Health, which was supposed to take care of the colony, hadn’t even built accommodations. The sick had to find shelter in caves or old grass huts. A death sentence, explains Norman.

Here below the rocks fall two and a half meters of rain a year. Those who have leprosy do not die of it, but become susceptible to other diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. And because the patients with such lung diseases had to live in these damp, cold huts, “many of them died shortly after arrival or after a year or two,” says Norman.

Separated from family and friends

No matter how hard the living conditions were, the worst thing for most patients was to be separated from their family and friends. Because for the Hawaiian natives, “ohana” is one of the most important values ​​in life – family cohesion. There are stories of husbands who did not want to leave their sick wives, followed them to Kalaupapa, and later developed leprosy themselves. And there are stories of children who prayed to get leprosy so that they could follow their parents.

The first real helper: Father Damien

The first to really improve the situation on Kalaupapa was a Catholic missionary from Belgium: Father Damien. Damien came to Kalaupapa seven years after the first patients. First, he built houses for the patients and took them out of their damp huts, followed by a small church and a hospital.

The special thing about Damien was that other helpers always came to Kalaupapa only for a short time. But Father Damien stayed and worked among the patients until he became ill with leprosy and died. In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States and a few years later, the U.S. Congress invested $ 100,000 in a modern hospital. But leprosy sufferers were forcibly brought to Kalaupapa for decades. The isolation laws were only formally abolished in 1969.

What’s next with Kalaupapa?

At the end of the tour Norman has another important concern: It is currently completely unclear what will happen to Kalaupapa when the last patients have died. There are powerful voices that want to turn Kalaupapa into a tourist resort, he says. “Nothing against resorts! But most of the people who have been here agree that this does not fit Kalaupapa, ”Norman says almost imploringly. Many in the group nod in agreement. The tour made us think. And we also have a lot of time to think – up in the saddle on the mule track.

All contributions to the show:

  • Leprosy colony Kalaupapa in Hawaii. By Till Ottlitz
  • Namibia – German heritage. By Mechthild Müser
  • Sri Lanka – shadow of war. By Patrizia Schlosser

The songs of the show

  • Jack Johnson – Flake
  • Elemotho – Kgala Namib

Moderation: Bärbel Wossagk

The complete program can be listened to in the download center.

July 27, 1996, an attack mourns the Atlanta Olympics

It is 1:15 a.m. in Atlanta (7:15 a.m. in Paris), Saturday July 27, 1996, when an explosion resounds in the park of the Summer Olympic Games, where a concert is taking place attended by tens of thousands of people. The explosion of a home-made bomb heard throughout the city center left two people dead (a Turkish cameraman and an American tourist) and nearly 110 wounded. The attack comes ten days after the explosion of a TWA Boeing off New York.

For Dominique Quinio, in an editorial by the cross published the following day, it is at the same time the Olympic festival, the media and the United States which are challenged. But ” the Olympic truce, widely flouted over the years, must resist the threats of this new war. It’s time for union ” According to Jean-Marie Safra, special envoy to Atlanta, on the morning of the attack, ” all could hardly imagine that atlanta on the one hand, and the games on the other hand, would find it difficult to recover from this blow

The investigation quickly turned to the American militias. Identified in 1998, Éric Rudolph, a former soldier close to extremist religious movements, was arrested by the FBI in May 2003 in Murphy, North Carolina. Working with the law, he escaped the death penalty but was sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2005.


The party challenged

(La Croix of July 28, 1996)

Dominique Quinio’s editorial

The Olympic holiday challenged. The party really, since it is the park where concerts attracted a crowd of onlookers who was hit, in the night from Friday to Saturday, by the explosion.

Everyone very quickly was tempted to endorse the hypothesis of a criminal act. How, in fact, not to think about it immediately, in front of these images, alas too often seen, of panicked, haggard, terribly shocked people? How can we not believe it, when the information concerning the explosion of the Boeing of the TWA, even still fragmentary and incomplete, now seems to favor the thesis of the attack?

The media challenged. So numerous to follow the exploits of the champions, so quick to ignite for the performances of their compatriots, so fond of warlike and burning images for contests which, until today, were only peaceful, here they are summoned to bear witness to the “success” of the bombers to the whole world.

The United States challenged. Their tremendous human, economic and military capacities, a security system so often praised during these Atlanta Games, even upset even the participants and the spectators of the competition, are useless in front of a bomb – keg it handcrafted.

Questions will come later on the efficiency of these security measures. The investigation will have to identify the culprits – from abroad or representatives of American extremist movements, who claim an America that is not America.

But it’s time for union. Faced with this cowardice once again manifested, the nations have to stand together. The Olympic truce, widely flouted over the years (the dark hours of the Munich Olympics go back to memory), must resist the threats of this new war waged by terrorists, too often relayed by states playing the apprentice sorcerers. Because targeting the Games is targeting the whole world.

1:15 a bomb explodes in Centennial Park

(La Croix of July 28, 1996)

Jean-Marie Safra, special envoy

It was 1:15 a.m. Saturday morning in Atlanta (7:15 a.m.CET), and Downtown, the epicenter of the Games, was still partying. The explosion, the noise of which was heard far away, occurred at Olympic Centennial Park. Right where the organizers had made the real heart of the Games beat.

It is there, in fact, that tens of thousands of people must pass daily to reach the numerous sites where indoor sports competitions have been established. This is where the public strolls all day and all evening, shopping for souvenirs. It is there, finally, that every evening, many attractions and inexpensive dining options are offered, in order to keep the good-natured public who often comes with their family entertained until late at night, with lots of concerts , water games, even games of skill, here and there with the essential basketball baskets sponsored by the ubiquitous Nike.

In short, it was on this sweet first night of the second Olympic weekend, when the psychosis created by the tragedy of the Boeing TWA New York-Paris (July 17) had somewhat subsided and security measures on the sites seemed somewhat relaxed, that the drama took place.

The neighborhood was certainly closed in a jiffy. The noria of police cars, firefighters and ambulances, all screaming sirens, certainly arrived on the scene in record time. It prevents. It is pretty clear that the Atlanta police, planning for traffic at the crossroads, have been incredibly discreet since the start of the Games.

Now it remains to understand why – without counting the small problems of stewardship denounced since the start of the Games, and which we can better measure today how they were only trifles – the Atlanta authorities were able to let settle without to tremble this gigantic fair of the Throne, whose incredible disorder and the immense success of affluence which it was inevitably going to collect, could only encourage possible acts of malevolence.

Barely an hour after the tragedy, the population, who had been firmly pushed back into the surrounding streets, was in shock. Young girls were crying, young men were shaking. Young people hugged tightly. Not everyone understood, like Trevor Joiner, 22, black from Atlanta, who explained that in all the churches of the State of Georgia, we had prayed so much for these Olympic Games to go well …

Yet everyone also had a hard time imagining that Atlanta on the one hand, and the Games on the other hand, would have trouble recovering from this blow. The Olympic Games, due to end on August 4, will remain severely traumatized. In this context, the interest of the finals of the 100 m men and women this Saturday, which were considered as two of the great peaks of this fortnight, would be considerably reduced.

The Atlanta Games are a bit dead, as the great Olympic swimming champion, Janet Evans, said for whom the incredible happened: ” I always trembled at the prospect of seeing sport hit by acts of terrorism, said the American. But I never thought it would be through a blind bomb in the crowd.

At the same time, an official statement from the Atlanta police said that there were no deaths but several hundred injured. The ace ! The denial would not be long. According to American television NBC, which was filming the scene a few seconds earlier, there was a dead man who was near a light tower next to the stage on which a rock band was performing.

Another testimony assured that the police of Atlanta had received a call shortly before the explosion warning them that an attack was imminent. The police reportedly asked to vacate the premises. But how to do it ?

We also remember that in 1972 Munich was bereaved following a terrorist action by the Black September commando which occurred in the house of the Israeli delegation in the Olympic village. The death toll was 18 Israeli dead. Four years earlier, in Mexico City, October 3, a few days before the opening of the Games, it was a student demonstration that had been violently suppressed. Balance sheet: more than 300 dead. Who had not prevented the Olympics from being held normally …


American militias refuse the state and advocate “white supremacy”.

(La Croix of July 29, 1996)

Gwenola Posseme-Rageau

American militias refuse the state and advocate “white supremacy”. The investigation is directed towards paramilitary groups. A recent phenomenon that is part of the rise of the American far right.

The number of militiamen in the United States is estimated to be between 40,000 and 100,000, located mainly in the south and northwest of the country. These groups began to develop in the early 1990s in the form of small informal networks. They communicate with each other by telephone, fax, radio and the Internet. They regularly and freely organize regional conventions and arms exhibitions where they exchange literature and advice on paramilitary tactics.

Militias recruit from the poor white population of small American cities, especially among men between the ages of 18 and 45. The largest network is in Montana. Its leader, John Trochmann, has long been affiliated with the American neo-Nazi far right.
Hatred of the federal government

These militias claim to be the founding fathers of the nation. They refuse to recognize the federal government in its current form and seek to destroy it. In many states, more and more federal agents, forest guards, judges, police and postal workers are being threatened.

Militias also have other enemies: cosmopolitanism and the new world order. For these militias, the federal government is behind the boot of international groups seeking to make Americans slaves. Armed resistance is therefore the only way to defend oneself.

To combat this ideology, human rights and civil rights committees are organized. But their message is difficult to get across. In 1995, ten days before the Oklahoma City bombing, for example, the Jewish-American Committee published a report entitled: “Militias: A Growing Danger. The author of the report, Kenneth Stern, foresaw a terrorist act on April 19, the second anniversary of the David Koresh Davidian sect offensive that had turned drama in Waco. No one saw fit to worry.

Federal authorities have taken a long time to react to the militia phenomenon. It took the Oklahoma City tragedy for coercive action to be taken against them.

Lately, in Arizona, the FBI has succeeded in dismantling an armed network, called “the Vipers”, and in getting hold of a veritable arsenal. On the other hand, he showed a disconcerting prudence and patience to arrest, in their entrenched camp, the Montana Free-Men.

Many Americans fear, in fact, that in fighting these militias, one is infringing on a fundamental right, freedom of expression. But are they ready to pay the price today?


New Orleans Pelicans top players

In July, Inside Basket offers you a Top 10 All-Time of the best players of each NBA team every day. These Tops are completely subjective and will of course not please everyone. Feel free to add the missing players in the comments!

Today, we are traveling to Louisiana to learn about the old New Orleans version Hornets, which later became the Pelicans.

Ryan Anderson is an interior who goes to shoot 3pts … So he is the second best trigger on the team!

Eric Gordon is the 5th scorer of the Pelicans.

Peja did not shine with the Kings, it is also the best 3pts shooter of New Orlans!

It is New Orleans that Tyson has established itself as one of the best defensive pivots of the last 20 years.

Magloire was solid three years with 11pts and 10rbds of averages.

The other Jamal is not outdone with 21pts average in two years, even if injuries accompanied him throughout his second season. Mash was already very strong with Charlotte for two years before the New Orleans move.

Casually, West is the best scorer on the team, he is also the best rebounder and his second blocker.

Dj Fort Charlotte, it is New Orleans that Baron explodes with 20pts and 7pds on average.

Four years 20pts and 10rbds for Anthony who has established himself as a physical monster since his arrival in the NBA. MVP potential!

Speaking of MVP, Paul had a profile with the New Orleans Hornets. He is second scorer and best ferryman of the Franchise.

Special mentions ; Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, PJ Brown, Rasual Butler, Al-Farouq Aminu, David Wesley, Marco Belinelli, Morris Peterson, Emeka Okafor

You can find all the Top tens All-Time dj published by clicking here!

The best New York Knicks players

In July, Inside Basket offers you a Top 10 All-Time of the best players from each NBA team every day. These Tops are totally subjective and of course not everyone will like it. You are free to add the missing players in the comments!

Today, let’s head to the Big Apple with its skyscrapers and Knicks!

Charles Oakley’s anger earned him this place here. A great defender and rebounder!

Dave DeBusschere is six years old in NYC for 16pts and 10rbds averages.

A darling of the Garden in the 90s, he is the Knicks’ best 3pts shooter with 982 first shots.

Earl “The Pearl” is the Knicks’ seventh scorer for whom he played for nine years.

Current Knicks star, we want Melo to finally get a title like his buddies in the 2003 draft. It’s the Knick with the best average Efficiency (22.7)

Houston averages 18.5pts in 9 years in NYC. He became the 4th scorer of the team.

Still a Big Apple legend, King shot 26pts from 1982 to 1987.

Willis Reed is the MVP of the 70’s and 73’s finals in the only two Franchise titles. He is also the 3rd scorer and 2nd rebounder for the Knicks.

He also one of the strong men of the two New York titles. He is the 2nd scorer and best passer in NYC.

Best scorer, rebounder and interceptor of the team, it’s Pat Ewing! His dominance in the league was as he was dubbed The Beast … but other better-surrounded hubs prevented him from securing titles like the Shaq, Robinson and Olajuwon.

Mentions spciales ; Dick Barnett, Dick McGuire, Bill Bradley, Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carl Braun, Micheal Ray Richardson, Richie Guerin, Gerald Wilkins, Kenny Sears, Cazzie Russell, Latrell Sprewell, Harry Gallatin, Nathaniel Clifton, Anthony Mason, Bill Cartwright, Kiki Vandeweghe, Marcus Camby,Tracy McGrady, Penny Hardaway, Jason Kidd, Phil Jackson

You can find all the Top tens All-Time dj published by clicking here!

Four Hawaiian Islands with the Pride of America

Four Hawaiian Islands with the Pride of America

Deadline July 10, 1821: Florida officially becomes part of the United States – deadline

Since the construction of the Overseas Highway 1923 in Florida Keys applies Key West as the southernmost point of the US-American mainland. In 1513 when the Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon Florida discovered, the peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico still marks the northernmost point of the western hemisphere at that time. The conqueror baptises the patch of earth that he considers an island to be “Las Floridas“.

The Spaniard does not find any treasures in the jungle wilderness, which is riddled with swamps. That the countless prey alligators there are not, as he suspects, the only inhabitants Ponce de Leon notice when he returns in 1521 to take possession of Florida for Spain. When local warriors attack, he is struck by a poison arrow, which shortly afterwards kills his life. Over the next few centuries, the Spaniards founded several forts, but showed little interest in settling the inhospitable colony. The indigenous population is almost extinct due to the introduction of epidemics.

Spain powerless against US invasion

Florida becomes the focus of international politics when Spain’s power in Latin America disappears due to revolts and independence movements. In 1803, Emperor Napoleon I sold France’s Louisiana colony in southern North America to the United States for $ 15 million (now approximately $ 233 million). The “Louisiana Purchase“doubles the territory of the United States and initiates the conquest of the remaining Indian regions as well as the territories still dominated by Spain east of the Mississippi. As a result, the US government also derives its claims to Florida from the largest agricultural business in history.

The almost deserted Florida had become the refuge of escaped blacks from the slave-holding states and displaced Indian tribes in the century before. The Spaniards have the resulting mixed race “cimarrón“called what means” wild people “or” refugees “. From this the term Seminolen is formed. In March 1818 US general moves Andrew Jackson against the Seminoles to field raids on white settlers in Georgia to prevent. The weakened colonial power of Spain can hardly counter the invasion, as historian Alexander Emmerich explains: “Napoleon had also conquered Spain during his wars in Europe and the administration of New Spain was now in the hands of Bonapartists. “

Seminoles must give way to white settlers

During general Jackson occupies the Spanish forts in Florida, uses President James Monroe the success of an expansive foreign policy. His Foreign Minister and successor acted in 1819 John Quincy Adams with his Spanish counterpart Luis de Onis an agreement that re-regulates the border between the two states in southern North America. With the in Washington signed contract, Spain ceded its Florida colony to the United States. In addition, the government in Madrid dispenses with all areas beyond the Rocky Mountainsthat are north of California.

In return, the United States will pay $ 5 million for settlers’ claims against Spain and leave their claims on Texas west of the Sabine River fall. In July 1821 the so-called Adams-Onis-Contract in force and Jackson is named the first U.S. military governor in Florida. The Seminoles must relocate to reservations. Several tribes are fighting vehemently against their displacement, which leads to the second war of the United States against the Seminoles in 1835. After almost 4,000 people were deported to northern reserves, Florida became the 27th state in March 1845.

Program tips:

On WDR 2 you can always hear the key date at around 9.40 a.m. Repetition: from Monday to Saturday at 6.40 p.m. The deadline is available after the broadcast as a podcast.

Deadline on July 11th, 2016: 50 years ago: the footballWorld Cup begins in England

Why 85 million were “enough” for Evan Fournier (Orlando) – NBA

Evan Fournier (2 m, 23 years old), could he have received even more money than the already astronomical sum of 85 million dollars over five years for which he committed Friday with Orlando? After the extension of the international wing of the Magic was announced, several American observers drew attention to an amount “far from the maximum that Fournier could claim

Translation: the former Poitevin will, from next season, receive $ 17 million a year, but could in theory have exceeded the twenty mark. What several franchises were ready to offer to the best French marker in the NBA this season (14.9 points per game), as confirmed by his agent Bouna Ndiaye, without citing the teams concerned.

A “restricted” free agent, Fournier was able to wait for proposals from other teams, knowing that Orlando would always be able to line up, or let him go. So why did you sign so quickly? And not having tried to raise the stakes?

Three teams offered us the max, blows Ndiaye. But franchises that didn’t interest us, that can’t afford to win. Evan objected immediately. He doesn’t want to go anywhere just for the money. After, you can always have more … But people talk without mastering all the parameters. First, Evan has a strong desire to go to the Olympic Games in Rio, if the French team qualifies and is lucky to be called back. But if he signed around July 15-20, that dream was over … Then, I don’t want to trivialize what is happening in the NBA, but the sums are enormous, almost ridiculous. Earning 17 or 20 million, after a while, it doesn’t make much difference, it no longer makes sense. After all becomes a matter of ego. You take what you have to take instead of thinking where you are going and why.

Another concrete reason for the acceleration of the negotiations: the Orlando Magic, in one of its first off-season moves, sent one of its stars, the rear leader Victor Oladipo, to Oklahoma City in exchange by Serge Ibaka. The effect of this exchange? He singularly cooled a number of teams interested in Fournier, and interpreted it as a sign that Orlando could not let the Frenchman go.

“Obviously, we could have dragged on”

All the teams said it was dead, confirms Ndiaye. They were going to serve as hares, to offer something with no real chance of successfully recruiting the player. If Oladipo had stayed, we would have played a bit, we would have gone to the highest bidder and competitive, in a big team, and we would have let Orlando decide to line up or not.The leaders of Orlando not being completely off the plate, not as much in any case, as last year, when they had proposed to Fournier 32 million over four years, then had refused to negotiate to lock the player at lower cost, this time knew how to turn the situation to their advantage.

They offered a deal to “just” $ 85 million over five years. “Obviously, we could have dragged, concludes Ndiaye. But the moment you want a quick deal, you have to compromise. We are completely satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. And Evan has an exit clause at the end of the fourth year.Remember that Fournier’s contract remains by far the highest ever touched by a French player in the NBA at the end of his first pro contract in the North American league.


Samuel L. Jackson: “I was a shitty drug addict”

Sometimes he fought as Mace Windu with a lightsaber against the dark side of power, sometimes he kills his boss’s opponents as the tough gangster Jules, then he fights against the end of the world as super agent Nick Fury: On the screen, Samuel L. Jackson is a superman .

During this week’s BET Awards, Jackson talked about the darker side of his career – drug addiction. Now he has followed up in a conversation with the Guardian. “I was a fucking drug addict,” he told the newspaper.

At the BET Awards, Jackson had received an award for his life’s work and in a moving speech told of an episode of his drug addiction in which his then eight-year-old daughter and his wife LaTanya Richardson discovered him after a crack crash in the shared kitchen amid drugs had.

“They found me passed out on the floor after coming from a bachelorette party. They put me in rehab the next day and supported me. They give me a reason to work on it every day.”

No foot on the stage without drugs

Before his rise to world fame, Jackson had been a highly regarded actor on the theater stages in New York for years. But drug addiction had been his constant companion since he began experimenting with substances in college in the 1960s. Alcohol, marijuana and LSD were the starting points before switching to crack.

Prior to his 1991 withdrawal, since he’s been clean, he never set foot on a stage without using drugs. At the time, addiction was the only thing that kept him from developing his full potential, Jackson told the Guardian. “Then the door flew open with a bang.”

His wife, LaTanya Richardson, was his strongest critic even then. She told him how talented he was, but that his acting remained stale. He only understood the criticism when he renounced drugs.

“Before, I always did things on stage and waited for the audience to react,” said the 67-year-old in an interview. “When I was able to ignore all of this and focus on the other people on stage, I was finally able to blossom into who I am today.”

Icon: The mirror