In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Terrence Howard discussed a tragic event in his childhood that led to his father’s arrest in 1971 after his father, Tyrone Howard, killed a man in Cleveland, Ohio.
The actor recalled his father got into a fight with Jack Fitzpatrick while the two men were in line to meet Santa Claus at a department store. Terrence was two-years-old when his father stabbed the man, the Empire actor said, sharing memories of being coated in blood after the attack.
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Jack was in prison for 11 months before he was released on good behavior. Afterward, Terrence’s mother and father separated.
Though the reasons behind the attack are still unknown, some speculated it was motivated by race.
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The 46-year-old also said his father gave him a lesson from the event, telling him a man needs to stand up for himself.
“My daddy taught me, 'Never take the vertebrae out of your back or the bass out of your throat. I ain't raisin' sheep. I raised men. Stay a man,'" Howard recalled. "But being a man comes with a curse because it's not a society made for men to flourish anymore. Everything is androgynous, you know? The more successful men now are the effeminate."