Her Story: Viola Davis

Georgia as Viola Davis, first African-American performer to win Tony, Emmy and Oscar awards in acting categories.

The amazingly talented Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) recently made history when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the very first African-American performer to win Tony, Emmy and Oscar awards in acting categories. Only 22 others in history have accomplished this amazing honor. Davis is also the first woman of color and the first African-American actress to win five Screen Actors Guild Awards and is the first black actress to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Davis was born on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina, and grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island where her family moved shortly after her birth. Her father worked as a horse groomer and trainer, her mother worked as a maid and factory worker. Davis reports growing up very poor, watching movies became her escape at an early age. She attended Central Falls High School where she first got involved in the arts and discovered her love for acting. After high school Davis studied theater at Rhode Island College then went on to attend Juilliard School in New York City.

Over the course of her career Davis has played a variety of rolls and meaningful characters. Davis is a strong advocate for more relevant roles for African-American women,  “It is a time when Black women now have no choice but to take matters in their own hands and create images for ourselves … It’s up to us to look for the material, it’s up to us to produce it ourselves, it’s up to us to choose the stories.”

Please help us celebrate and honor these amazing women’s stories by sharing!

Viola Davis, Historic Emmy Win

“Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Womanhood is everything that’s inside of you.” -Viola Davis

About this shot:

The Golden Globe Award is printed on paper then cut out, we are pretty happy with our handy work! The dress was ‘borrowed’ from her sister while she was at school (shhh). We could only find one clip on earring from great grandma and it was missing a pearl. Luckily we found a stray pearl in the bottom of the dress up box, so we are now in the jewelry repair business.

If you would like to find out more about our homeschool history project click here: http://shemadehistory.com/her-story/

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About The Author


Mother, Photographer, Wisecracker.... not necessarily in that order.

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