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Finding Me: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

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Finding Me is Viola Davis’ story, in her own words, and spans her incredible, inspiring life, from her coming-of-age in Rhode Island to her present day. This is not a memoir that traces a celebrity’s humble beginnings to their eventual success; this is a memoir of healing, of finally making peace with oneself. I felt that so intensely because my 3rd grade teacher said that Black people couldn't be doctors or lawyers, so we should focus on trades.

I do not consume either on a large scale so I was unaware of the lack of respect for those that often did theater. Viola Davis is an internationally acclaimed actress and producer, known for her exceptional performances in television shows such as How to Get Away with Murder and movies such as Fences and The Help. The level of courage and bravery needed to overcome some of the things Viola has experienced is extremely high.

Paul listened to ‘parts’ - but not all of this book —-(he and I had several conversations—but he missed a lot of poignant parts)…. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me. When Viola was very small, the Davis's and their three youngest children moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where Dan Davis worked as a horse groomer at racetracks. Can we all exude a bit more kindness and compassion and freaking assistance when someone is struggling? Following her gap year, during which Viola became a "professional actress", she went on to Juilliard School in New York City.

Objectively speaking, Finding Me is a powerful story; it's not an easy one to read, as it's one born in pain and violence. The term Jim Crow originated from a minstrel show in 1828 which was projecting African Americans negatively. As a girlie with only brothers, I quite enjoy seeing, hearing and knowing women with sisters because that dynamic to me is soooo precious. Career-wise, after Viola got a role in the 1998 HBO movie 'The Pentagon Wars', there was a domino effect, and more television work came along. In the course of playing Annalise, I understood that I was no longer and never was that ugly Black nigga.

Though Viola may have faced more obstacles than some other actors, she admits her struggles were universal. Viola reading it to me (go with the audio, please, please) was an incredibly personal and intimate feeling. Privation affected Viola's health as well, and some time later she had fibroid surgery and a hysterectomy. Really great memoir about Viola Davis’ journey from a child growing up in poverty to becoming an award winning actress. She is not trying to make you feel sorry for her; she is merely baring her soul and allowing you, as the reader, into her introspection of how she became the spectacular woman she is today.

Annalise Keating released in me the obstacles blocking me from realizing my worth and power as a woman. There was a lack of intentional investment in us little Black girls… There was an expectation of perfectionism without the knowledge of emotional well-being… How do I get to the mountain-top without legs?I started from a poverty stance, but I was blessed in mine due to the help of many others and the family that helped save us. As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. She wants to connect and communicate to the reader what’s it’s like to come from poverty, to live in fear, to fight for your life. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love.

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