Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it.
Finding Me by Viola Davis
Conceivably one of the most painful recitations of brutal poverty I’ve ever read (like Dickens, with racism), Viola Davis manages to rise above her Central Falls, RI origins to the heights of acting awards and triumph over the most inconceivable obstalces.
She is not shy about revealing the life-long damage from the abuse she’s suffered as she shares the intense efforts that she and her four sisters were able to muster, with a minimal support from parents, school or community.
The most tender part has her watching Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman” on TV and deciding to follow in her path.
In fact, in an accompanying photo of her with Tyson, Davis says, “I secretly used every opportunity to hold and kiss her.”
Davis uses her bully pulpit to focus on colorism and on how more difficult is the path of Black women with darker skin, who “didn’t have smaller, classical (read whiter) features. That wasn’t me.”
Quote: “I didn’t understand the living in New York City. I just thought all the apartments looked like George Jefferson’s apartment.”
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