Monday, February 07, 2005

Remembering the Great Ossie Davis

As I was doing some online research today in preparation for upcoming postings on African and African-American History in honor of Black History Month 2005 I came across the news that Ossie Davis had died on Friday, February 4th in Miami. This is like hearing that a dear member of your family has died for millions of Americans and other people around the world, and I thank Owukori of the Black Looks blog for this news; I wouldn’t have even known about it if I had to depend on the television media here in Germany. Maybe it is in the newspapers.

The names Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee played a role in my life and times back in New York City because of their close friendship to people there who are (like) my own family. I know that Beryl and Diana and Paulette are just devastated by this loss, as is all of New York City. They dimmed the lights on Broadway on Saturday night in his honor, that’s how important he is to the theatre family in America. Last December Ossie and his wife of more than 50 years, the beautiful actress Ruby Dee, received The Kennedy Center Honors for 2004 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

It could be that Ossie Davis is relatively unknown outside of the United States and if you are a reader who has never heard of him or not had the pleasure to see his works in theatre, film, books, or television then I would suggest that you become familiar with this great man. Ossie is a giant of a personality in American entertainment, the U.S. civil rights movement (he spoke at Dr. Martin Luther Kings funeral), and in the very fabric of the country itself. In other words, he was an important part of America’s living history up until last Friday. Now he is gone and he will be missed by millions of us.

Owukori did a nice little article on Ossie over at her blog with a great list of his work in film, theatre, and television. Below I have provided some additional links to online resources where you can learn more about Ossie Davis and other great actors who worked together with him to help entertain and educate his loving fans for more than six decades:

Washington Post (some registration required)
Distinguished Actor’s Talents Graced Screen…”- (Feb. 05, 2005)
Remembering Ossie Davis – Life in Photos

The Seattle Times (no registration required, I think)
“Ossie Davis, smoothing out a rough way” – (Feb. 07, 2005)

The Westchester N.Y. Journal News (Feb. 06, 2005)
“In all things that mattered Ossie Davis was a big man

National Public Radio (NPR)
“Rememberances for Ossie Davis” (incl. text and audio files)

1 comment:

Emeka Okafor said...

Hello this Emeka from Timbuktu Chronicles, thanks for the compliments.