With Ossie and Ruby : in this life together

by Davis, Ossie.

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood African American PN2285.D28 1998
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  African American
Call Number  PN2285.D28 1998
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PN2285.D28 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PN2285.D28 1998
Wilkinsburg Public Library Nonfiction 927.92 DAV
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  927.92 DAV
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are legendary stars of the American stage, television, and film, a beloved and revered couple cherished not just for their acting artistry but also for their lifelong commitment to civil rights, family values, and the black community. Now they look back on a half- century of their personal and political struggles to maintain a healthy marriage and to create the record of distinguished accomplishment that earned each a Presidential Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

With Ossie and Ruby overflows with consummate storytelling skill developed by decades in the spotlight. From their early years as struggling actors in Harlem's black theater to Broadway and Hollywood stardom, they regale the reader with colorful, entertaining tales of the places they've been and the people they've met. But their charming humor is leavened with a more serious side, as they share their experiences of keeping a family together in a world where scandal and divorce is the rule, and of being artists and political activists in an era of intense racial ferment. Born into the struggle, their characters were shaped by the dynamic collisions of life, politics, and art; and from those experiences, they achieved some sense of their worth as married people, friends, and lovers.

Warm, positive, and compelling, this is a book that will surprise and challenge readers everywhere -- black and white, male and female, young and old. Lifting the veil of public image, media hype, and mystique, Ossie and Ruby speak of the real-life dilemmas and rewards of their lifelong search for purpose and value.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Davis and Dee, in a narrative that bounces from him to her, tell the story of their lives as entertainers, civil rights advocates, a married couple, and parents. This extraordinary couple relate their earlier lives in alternating chapters, then join in a conversational exchange to recall their lives together. They met when both performed in the American Negro Theater production of Jeb, a story about a black soldier returning from World War II to racial prejudice in the U.S., an experience Davis was living at the time. The two also worked together on Anna Lucasta, a vehicle for the growth of the American Negro Theater and the careers of Davis and Dee. Davis modestly describes their roles not as heroes of black theater of the caliber of Paul Robeson and Lena Horne but as "foot soldiers, ready, willing, and able to do [their] part in the Struggle." Davis' race consciousness reflects a boyhood in the South, where a black boy learned early the painful process of sublimating his racial identity. Dee learned similar lessons in the North. And both suffered the segregated accommodations for black performers traveling with theater groups and the severely limited roles available for black performers. Out of their experiences grew a defiance of the racial and political restrictions faced during their careers and an activist philosophy that has brought them as much prominence as their entertainment careers. This fascinating autobiography recalls their decisions about where to live and raise children and their friendships with a broad range of people, from Robeson to Sidney Poitier to Malcolm X. It also recalls their efforts to speak out for racial justice and to maintain careers on stage, on television, and in film, which culminated in each earning a Presidential Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0688153968Vanessa Bush"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In December the co-authors will mark their 50th wedding anniversary, an almost unheard of milestone for two stars of the performing arts this century. Even before their marriage, according to Davis, "we were in love, head over heels, and stuck with each other forever!" Rather than just telling the story of a successful marriage, however, their book (related in alternate voices) provides a panorama of the 20th-century African American experience, or, as they label it, The Struggle. Both socialists and militant battlers for African American rights, Davis and Dee have known, and worked with, such leaders as W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King and Malcom X. And they haven't shied away from the consequences of taking a public stand: during the flowering of McCarthyism, Dee was called a Communist sympathizer in the press. Still, with refreshing honesty, they steer clear of self-congratulation, as when Davis tells how, as a little boy, in exchange for a few pieces of peanut brittle, he acquiesced as some racist local cops mistreated him. Of course, Dee and Davis also chronicle their careers as pioneers on stage, film and television, from their involvement with New York's African American theater scene during the Depression to their work alongside stars like Sidney Poitier and Lena Horne. From Davis's youth as a "Negro boy surrounded by white hoods, burning crosses, and stories that brought the smell of burning flesh," to Dee's concern for the future of African American theater, this is a compelling read, effectively evoking the challenges and rewards that have attended the authors' roles as black leaders over the past 60 years. Photos not seen by PW. Appendix, index. Agents, Betty McCort and Susan Crawford. (Nov.) FYI: Also out this November is Ruby Dee's My One Good Nerve, a collection of verse based on her one-woman show of that title. (Wiley, $16.95 192p ISBN 0-471-31704-7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Davis, Ossie.
Dee, Ruby.
Actors -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :William Morrow,1998
Edition 1st ed.
Contributors Dee, Ruby.
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description xvi, 476 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN 0688153968
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