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‘The Most Revolutionary Thing Black People Can Do Is Stay Together’: Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson Talk 41 Years of Marriage

Samuel L. Jackson and Latonya Richardson Jackson are truly a #Spelhouse dream couple. 

The two met each other on the campuses of Spelman College and Morehouse College in 1968, started dating in 1970, and have been together ever since.

US actor Samuel L. Jackson and his wife US actress LaTanya Richardson attend the premiere of “Shaft” at AMC Lincoln Square on June 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Hollywood power couple — Jackson has starred in almost 155 title film or television productions and Richardson Jackson who boasts a 2014 Tony nomination for her role as Mama in the Broadway play “Raisin in the Sun” — sat down with People magazine to talk about their love and share any secrets to having a long marriage.

Ironically, Jackson says the Atlanta native was not the type of girl that he would have normally been interested in, but there was something about her that kept him inquiring.

As students, they were enlisted by Bill Cosby and Robert Culp to go protest Dr. King’s shooting in Memphis. The missus says that she first saw him on the flight from Atlanta to Memphis.

The “Jungle Fever” breakout star added to the memory, “I had seen her. I didn’t know who she was, but I had made enough inquiries to know that she was an Atlanta city girl, which was a very different kind of person to be in terms of the type of person that went to Spelman.”

“The city people had a whole other kind of air about them,” he recalled and stated their ways were kind of off-putting to him.

“But she was part of the whole Black revolutionary thing that was happening at Spelman, so when we were in the administration building after we had locked those trustees up, she was in that space,” he stated. “I was like ‘What she doing here?’ She a city girl but she’s a revolutionary.”

That was the beginning of something beautiful, a relationship that others have sought to model.

Richardson Jackson says people ask them a lot about the secret to their longevity and she believes it really comes down to deciding to stay together, saying “there is a lot of compromise and a lot of amnesia.”

“In the beginning, we always said the most revolutionary thing that Black people could do was stay together, raise their children with the nucleus of having a father and a mother since everybody likes to pretend that that’s not the dynamic of the African-American family,” Richardson Jackson said. 

“That it’s just children out here being raised by women, which we know is false,” she continued as she explained the passion behind their commitment to each other. “In order to change that narrative, we made a decision to say, ‘We are going to stay together no matter what. We’ll figure it out.'”

From their union, The Jacksons are the proud parents to Zoe, their 39-year-old daughter.

In addition to being lovebirds, the two are producing partners on the new Apple TV series based on the Walter Mosely novel “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.”

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