In honor of her 55th birthday, Viola Davis has bought the former South Carolina plantation where she was born:
“It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life… I own it… all of it.”
Davis put up a photo of the now-dilapidated home in St. Matthews, South Carolina, on social media.
The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life….I own it….all of it.
"May you live long enough to know why you were born.”
-Cherokee Birth Blessing- pic.twitter.com/CatJK405BL
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 11, 2020
Davis had previously described her grandparents’ home, located on what used to be Singleton Plantation, as a ‘one-room shack’ with no running water, but she only discovered its slave history later in life.
“I wasn’t on it long, because I was the fifth child, and so we moved soon after I was born,” she said in a 2016 appearance on The Jess Cagle Interview.
“I mean, I went back to visit briefly but (I was) still not aware of the history,” she reflected, “I think (I only made the discovery when) I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation, which was horrific.”
The Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winner has been outspoken about both representation in Hollywood and the need for Black creatives to own their own stories.