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Foremothers | Day 20 | Ruby Dee

Show Notes

Ruby Dee was the zeitgeist of Black womanhood. She was our Ruth in Raisin in the Sun, our Queen in Roots, our Mother-Sister in Do the Right Thing, our Mama Lucas in American Gangster. Ruby Dee’s face, her soulful voice, her spirited laughter is the very epitome of Black cinema.

Her Hollywood career was phenomenal but life painted an even more brilliant story. She was an activist. A forceful member of CORE, SNCC, NAACP, Urban League, AND Delta Sigma Theta. Harlem through and through, Ruby was for us, by us.

And can we talk about Black Love?

You can’t utter the sound of her name, Ruby Dee, without your tongue clicking praise to her lover, Ossis Davis. Their love was definitive. Instructional. Swoon-worthy. …an aperitif for our collective imagination. They gave us a master class on Black Love as Legacy. Eye contact. Hand holding. Passionate embraces. Side-by-sideness. It was, well, satisfying. They made us remember.

It is no wonder that upon their deaths, they were cremated and their ashes put in the same urn, with the inscription, “In this thing together.”

Today is a celebration of Black Love, starring Ruby Dee.

…and Ossie Davis.

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Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the music or speech excerpt played during this broadcast. Original content can be found here:

Stevie Wonder – If You Really Love Me:

Ruby Dee – Men Who Have Loved Me:

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