Her Story: Viola Davis

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

Viola Davis became the most nominated Black woman in Oscar history on March 15th 2021, with her fourth Oscar nod. The incredibly talented actress also made history in 2017 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, on August 11, 1965. She 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.

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!

“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

Links To Learn:

Viola Davis – IMDb


List of awards and nominations received by Viola Davis – Wikipedia

About this shot:

The Golden Globe Award was printed on paper then cut out. We are pretty happy with our handy work! Georgia ‘borrowed’ the dress from 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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