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Viola Davis’s Impact on Acting and Activism

We all know and love the great Viola Davis, most know her from her most recent works like How to get away with murder and Suicide Squad but did you know about her beginnings and the amazing achievements she has received? What about her dips and dabbles into activism and her community for black men and women and new and inspired artists? Read on and find out about it!


The beautiful and talented Viola Davis was born on August 11, 1965, in St.Matthews, South Carolina. Can you guess what hospital she was born at? Go on try, and the correct answer is None! That’s right Davis was not born in a hospital, instead, she was born at the farm her family owned. Although being born there she would go on to spend most of her childhood in Rhode Island with her parents and two sisters, while her other two sisters stayed behind with her grandmother. Regarding her activism, it started quite early for Davis. Her mother Mary Alice was very active during the civil rights movement campaigning with and for thousands of other disadvantaged and poor African Americans. On one peaceful protest, several people were wrongfully incarcerated, among those was not only Mary Alice herself but her two-year-old daughter, Viola Davis. That moment was the first of many that set Viola on the path of activism. She had kept her hands in the lives of local and global African Americans either by getting out in the streets or showing support via her massive platform. A platform that is that much bigger thanks to the contributions of her husband and fellow activist Julius Tennon. One such moment took her back home to Rhode Island to donate a tremendous sum to her old school’s under-funded programs; the chess team was one of those served programs, and after receiving support carried the state six stunning times to the National Championships.






Now we can’t forget the fire force that is Viola Davis’s Acting ability and impact. Did you know her first credited role was in the 1996 film “The Substance of Fire” which was so good it landed her a spot in the SAG or Screen Actors Guild and from there her acting career took off? What do you think made her want to become an actor in the first place? A job in the entertainment field is usually written off as temporary or taken incredibly lightly. Well, the year was 1974, and the show was called “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” starring the great Cicely Tyson, after viewing Cicely in action it not only inspired her to start acting but it also filled her with the drive to have the same effect on others.

I am a person who has a deep love for the theatrical world and I’ve been that way as a child until now, after watching viola for the first time as a kid I simply adored her. The skill, talent, and grace she has on and off camera is truly something to behold. She has moved me in a similar way Tyson did for her as a child and the way she has successfully been able to push that forward, for not just me, but many other young women like me are remarkable. From her insparation, I hope one day I can push the cycle forward for the generation after me. - Lacy


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