Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ossie Davis - A Theatrical Life

Born Raiford Chatman Davis on December 18,1917, he became known to us as Ossie. A clerk completing his birth certificate misheard his mother say RC and wrote down Ossie. In the days of racial unrest, his mother did not feel at liberty to correct the white clerk and left it as Ossie.

Ossie and his wife Ruby Dee moved to New Rochelle in the 1960's and remained for four decades. They were named  to the NAACP Image Awards hall of fame, the National Medal of Arts as well as recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors award.

In January 2006 the Ossie Davis Theater was dedicated at the New Rochelle Public Library. This 145 seat venue allows New Rochelle residents to enjoy Ossie's love of the Arts.

This Actor, Director, Poet, Playwright, Author & Activist gave the eulogy of Malcolm X in 1965 at the Faith Temple of God in Harlem. On February 4, 2005 he took his final bow and  the world said farewell to his benevolent spirit. Ruby Dee continues to live in New Rochelle and remains active in the community. She was inducted into the Westchester County Women's Hall of Fame in 2007.

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