According to USA Today, Viola Davis released one of the most personal memoirs with a deep look at her childhood marked by poverty and abuse. Davis titles her book Finding Me to begin the journey of recounting the life she overcame and the person she found along the way to success. Harper Collins recently published her debut memoir with a beautiful portrait cover on April 26th, 2022. We’re taking a closer look at the impeccable person that is Viola Davis.
A Love Letter to Her Former Herself
The journey to success has been long for the Triple Crown-Award Winning Actress. Viola Davis was born on August 11, 1965. She was the fifth of six children born in a house on a former plantation in Saint Matthews, South Carolina. Her family struggled with deep poverty and eventually moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island. She grew up in a run-down house where they often went without gas, hot water, and electricity. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Davis spent much of her childhood watching her parents struggle to make ends meet.
On top of insufficient and scarce income in her household, the family dealt with rat infestations and food shortages. Davis’ only real coping mechanism at the time had come in the form of acting. She began acting in her local school productions and theater competitions. After developing a deep interest in the arts, she attended Rhode Island College and majored in theater. Despite societal fears, Davis stayed true to her intentions and followed her passion for acting. She graduated college in 1988 and deservedly received a scholarship from the Young Peoples School for the Performing Arts in Rhode Island. Then she went on to attend the Juilliard School and graduated in 1994.
Davis made her Broadway debut in 1996 with a performance that won her a Tony nomination in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. Since then, Viola Davis reached critical acclaim for her roles in Doubt (2008), The Help (2011), Prisoners (2013), Ender’s Game (2013), and the James Brown biopic, Get On Up (2014). Davis has also starred in the fan favorites, How to Get Away with Murder, Suicide Squad, Fences, and many more. She became the first Black woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for acting, making her a Triple Crown Award Winner. Therefore, it’s no surprise she wants to share the journey that led her to reach these goals. Her story is a love letter to her former self and readers that choose fear instead of courage. It’s never too late to start choosing for yourself. Despite the labels and cruelty in the world, Davis has proven that staying true to yourself brings in the most rewards.
Finding Viola Davis
The release of her memoir, Finding Me, has sparked joy in many devoted fans. Now, they can see how the gifted actress got her start, directly from the woman herself. Davis opens up deep wounds in her memoir with details about her struggles with emotional abandonment, systemic racism, and generational trauma. USA Today also shares that the memoir “reads like Davis is sitting you down for a one-on-one conversation about her life, warts and all.” In Finding Me, Davis discusses her painful experiences with her father’s abuse and the sexual abuse she and her sister’s endured from her brother. Additionally, while in the entertainment industry, Viola Davis heavily battled colorism and sexism at the start of her career. She also struggled with uterine fibroids before being able to afford health insurance to remove them. Davis shares with readers every vital moment that changed the trajectory of her life.
Although Davis struggled with such heavy issues throughout her childhood and career, she also shares the great moments that changed her life. She talks about meeting her husband, Julius Tennon, and describes their shared love as something she prayed for. After they married in 2003, they decided to adopt a daughter, Genesis, in 2011. Viola Davis is unapologetically authentic, and we’ve always admired her for it. She describes the reality of every moment no matter how it will be perceived. There’s a chance it may resonate resonate with someone. Harper Collins provides Viola’s statement about her book, “In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.” She provides readers with an intimate look at her life and does so with such vulnerability that is quite inspiring. Viola also states, “Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.” Davis shares her truth and what happens when you finally stop running from yourself.
Where Can I Find Her Story?
We’ve added this insightful memoir to our TBR list. I’ve been a fan of Viola Davis since I first saw her in the television drama series, How To Get Away With Murder. At this point, any time she’s in a film or show, it’s added to my list. It’s even more rewarding to be able to read a memoir by the incredible actress and have her book sit next to some of my favorite authors. You can find her memoir, Finding Me, in every book store and the audio narration by Viola online now. We’re excited to learn more about her life story and the path that allowed her to find herself.
Looking for more memoir news? Keep reading here!