Posted 20 hours ago

Finding Me: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

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I know much of these facts - our 40 year old daughter is a steady working actor in Hollywood since childhood]…. To counterbalance, Viola spent one summer in Africa with dance choreographer Chuck Davis, studying the Wolof Jola, Mandinka, and SouSou tribes. If you are facing many obstacles in your life now and want to read a newly published inspirational book, this book will be a great choice.

Like most readers will probably feel, I thought Viola’s childhood was the most emotional and engaging part of the story. as I do have some very slight technical gripes with the writing - some overused words and turns of phrases. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond.Viola had me ‘hanging-by-a-tread’ when she took a 4 hour train ride — to audition - to get into Juilliard …. I cried reading about Viola's childhood and the way her trauma shaped her into the woman she is today. However, I imagine it’s hard to put together a memoir where your fans are curious about both of these elements of your life.

It is startlingly honest and, at times, a jaw-dropping read, charting her rise from poverty and abuse to becoming the first African-American to win the triple crown of an Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting. American society and the entertainment industry remain so fundamentally flawed, that Viola, with all the awareness of being one, continues to be an exemption to the long-established rules and customs which continue to impede black women from social mobility. I feel connected to her and to all the women, of any color, of any biological nature, who fight every day for the birthright to be themselves. Viola is so incredibly raw and honest when sharing stories from her childhood, her journey into being an actress, and the lessons she learned along the way as a daughter, wife, mother, and artist.

I can say so much about how our life events sorta overlap but this is her story so I will leave it there. The older children were raised by their grandparents until Mae Alice could no longer stand to hear stories of them being beaten in school, and sent for them to come to Rhode Island.

I’m an artist because there’s no separation from me and every human being that has passed through the world including my mom. Finding Me is Viola Davis’ story, in her own words, and spans her incredible, inspiring life, from her coming-of-age in Rhode Island to her present day. In the past, we've been used as chattel, fodder for inhumane experimentation, and it has evolved into invisibility.

Like many people, I discovered Viola from her incredible work on How to Get Away With Murder and have been following her work ever since. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.

One of the many takeaways for me is the understanding of just how hard it is for actors to “make it”. Luck is an elusive monster who chooses when to come out of its cave to strike and who will be its recipient. This is the path I took to finding my purpose and my strength, but also to finding my voice in a world that didn't always see me. At the age of forty-seven Viola got one of her best known roles, playing Annalise Keating in the television series 'How to Get Away With Murder. I think it’s always nice to see who public figures or stars are behind the image we create and this glimpse behind the image did not disappoint.This must be one of the most straightforward and brutally honest memoirs I have had the pleasure of reading. I enjoyed too her journey of growing up and getting out of that household, to develop into the talented and amazing actress she is today.

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