Viva Viola!

June 13, 2010

I am not prone to gushing over celebrities.  Ok, maybe a few times over Lenny Kravitz when I crossed paths with him. 

Anyway, is there anything Viola Davis cannot do? She pulled a Dame Judi Dench, getting a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, just after a few minutes on screen in Doubt.  After I saw the movie, I understood completely how she could be nominated. Here she gave us a woman in deep conflict, making extremely difficult choices to ensure the survival of her son. 

Viola is a brilliant and often underrated actress, maybe because sometimes she is so good at morphing into characters that you don’t even recognize her.  She is presently on Broadway now in Fences with Denzel Washington, and up for a Tony Award tonight. Good Luck Viola!!!!

I was awed when I saw her interview on Charlie Rose the other night (To see interview,  go to

She was talking about how the “Strong Black Woman” stereotype needs to die.  I have felt the same way for a very long time.  She longs for the day when we can “just be”.  Boy, that would be a relief.  I would put a few other stereotypes to rest as well, including “The Angry Black Woman” and “The Mammy”, and “The Sapphire”.  I am sure there are others.

She talked about how often her personality confuses people because she is quirky. I can relate to this.  She said often people have difficulty reconciling “quirky” with Black women, as if those are mutually exclusive traits.  Ridiculous.  There is texture to the personalities of most people who I know, especially Black women.  But I find that we are often boxed in to a very limited number of personality traits when viewed from the outside.  Unfortunate.  She discussed how she rarely sees characters she can relate to.  Boy can I relate to this.

Well for those missing out on the rich textures of Black women, Ms. Davis makes it a goal to present women she portrays with complexity and texture.  I say to her, thank goodness for your awareness and that’s probably why you are so great.  Thanks for bringing complete people to the stage and screen!  People like me I know are quite grateful.

4 Responses to “Viva Viola!”

  1. E said

    A true artist and an inspirational person. Glad to see her getting so much exposure as of late. Thanks for posting the link to the interview.

  2. Anna Renee said

    Oh wooooo hoooooo!!! The “strong black woman” stereotype has to DIE!!!! I’m so with this!!
    I totally hate that stereotype!
    Visit me at Anna Renee is Still Talking

    Great blog! You’re on my blogroll as of this minute!

    • Yes!!!!!! Viola may have started a movement. The “strong black woman” stereotype has wreaked quite enough havoc by sending too many of us spiraling down into depressions because we don’t live up to the crazy expectations or contribute to anger and stress that may cause physical problems or problems in relationships. Let’s bury that sucka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And in place of that let ourselves be complete human beings with strengths, weaknesses, flaws, just human.

      AND thank you so much for the major endorsement on your blog. I can only say I am honored because I respect so much what you are doing.

  3. Ladies and gentlemen, she has done it again. Another slam dunk interview on Charlie Rose last night. Adding depth to the discussion about Black women. Thank you V! See this second brilliant interview and learn more about her life at:

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