Ganny McVagflaps Posted February 5, 2005 Share Posted February 5, 2005 Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia, son of Laura Cooper and Kince Davis. He married Ruby Wallace (stage name: Ruby Dee). From 1935 until 1938, he was a student at Howard University. For several years he worked as a shipping clerk. In 1941, Davis began his career in the entertainment field. He has been an actor, director, scriptwriter, and producer. He has appeared on the stage, in films, and on television. Davis has been affiliated with the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee ("Communist front" - "subversive"); the Citizens Committee for Constitutional Liberties ("Communist front"); New World Review ("Communist publication"); Morning Freiheit ("Communist publication"); Camp Midvale (Communist Party enterprise); the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee ("to lead and direct the Communist Party's 'Operation Abolition' campaign"); Freedomways magazine (leftwing); the American Peace Crusade ("Communist front"); the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions ("a Communist front used to appeal to special occupational groups"); the Association of Artists for Freedom (leftwing); the Liberation Committee for Africa (leftwing); the Monroe Defense Committee (on behalf of leftist-racist Robert F. Williams); the Alexander Defense Committee (on behalf of leftist-racist agitators in South Africa); and the Charter Group for a Pledge of Conscience (on behalf of six who conspired to murder a woman shopkeeper in Harlem). Davis was eulogist at funeral services for Malcolm X, a leading racial agitator. He was chairman of a memorial tribute to W.E.B. DuBois, a Communist. He agitated on behalf of the atom spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobell. He attended a rally in honor of the Communist revolutionary Che Guevara. In the political arena, Davis endorsed the New York City mayoralty candidacy of William Fitts Ryan, an ultra-leftist. He participated in the Voters' Pledge Campaign for "peace" candidates in 1966. He was a member of the National Conference for New Politics, a third-party movement largely controlled by the Communists. He was the keynote speaker at the founding convention of the Freedom and Peace Party, which ran Communist candidates for the presidency and lesser offices in 1968. As a leftwing peacenik, Davis was affiliated with the 1965 March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam, the 1965 Ad Hoc Committee of Veterans for Peace in Vietnam, the 1966 Sing-In for Peace Concert at Carnegie Hall, and the 1966 Read-In for Peace in Vietnam at New York's Town Hall. In the area of racial agitation, Davis has been affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Physically imposing, passionate black actor of stage and screen, also known for his writing and directing ability. Although he was a college graduate, Davis labored in many menial jobs (and served a stint in the Army during World War 2) before making his Broadway debut in 1946. He first appeared on-screen in No Way Out (1950), supporting Sidney Poitier (also making his film debut) and appearing with Ruby Dee, who became his wife. It was another 13 years before Davis reached the screen again, then in Gone Are the Days (1963), an adaptation of his own play "Purlie Victorious." He acted in The Cardinal (1963), Shock Treatment (1964), The Hill (1965), A Man Called Adam (1966), The Scalphunters (1968), Sam Whiskey and Slaves (both 1969) before becoming the director of Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970, which he cowrote), a fast-moving crime drama about two unorthodox black cops. Davis has also directed Black Girl (1972), Gordon's War (1973), and Countdown at Kusini (1976). Still busy (with a supporting role on "Evening Shade," 1990-94), he has had a particularly fruitful association with filmmaker Spike Lee, appearing in School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), and Jungle Fever (1991). In Lee's Malcolm X (1992) he reads the eulogy he'd delivered in real life at the black leader's funeral, which he also reads on the soundtrack of the 1972 documentary Malcolm X Damn, you look at all these mooks like Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon tryna get involved in issues, but no one could ever do it like Davis. He'll be missed.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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