Last time on the blog, I was highlighting the life of Dr. Maya Angelou. Now this time, it’s the life of the late Ruby Dee, whom recently passed at 91 years old.
91 years old. She ran a good race.
I repeat: she ran a good race.
By the time this blog is done per say, we’ll have more tributes, videos and of course the memorial services that will be shown either online or television.
The first time I ever heard of the name Ruby Dee, was way back in child hood. Actually it was a homework assignment where I had to list rock names. (i.e. Fred Flintstone) others like Rocky Marciano, Knute Rocke and of course Ruby Dee herself. Now I didn’t know who Ruby Dee was. Again, I was a young buck in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Towards more of my growth per say, I started to watch the African Heritage Movie Network, which featured movie made by prominent African-American actors, actresses, and directors. The hosts were not only Ruby Dee herself, but her second and late husband, Ossie Davis. Speaking of them: I still have Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever on storage which featured the both of them in the flick. And yes, she played a role in Roots: The Next Generation in the late 1970’s. Plus, I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings in the same era.
The most prominent role I saw her in: American Gangster with Denzel Washington. She played the role of Frank Lucas’ mother in the movie. For her role as the mother earned her a nomination for an Academy Award in 2008. Even though she didn’t win the Oscar but she was well nominated not just for who she was, but her experience in the movie game. Like the late Maya Angelou, Ruby was ACTIVE in Civil Rights! – We all know about the March on Washington which Dr. King recited the I Have A Dream speech. BUT……….. Ruby Dee was an emcee for the march in 1963. In addition, she was an ACTIVE member of the NAACP, SNCC, CORE, and SCLC. Also she was Active with Advice, lessons and also, honored with memberships with the BGLO’s or the Divine 9. For those who didn’t know, Ruby Dee was an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. And just a thought Dr. Maya Angelou was an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Now I know the sororities involved with their famous honorary sisters would join up and honor the lessons that these sisters had done while still living. Not just colors or the letters. Or reciting the famous words from books, and poems. What about the work that would incorporate them to be better in life? Such as her additional work in poetry, journalism, and playwright screenwriter? Even she and Ossie Davis were arrested in 1999, for protesting against the shooting of Amadou Diallo in New York.
I want the younger readers who don’t know about Ruby Dee: when you get a break from the video games, social media, and many others that drive the adults nuts of sagging pants and surfboards, can you please research Ruby Dee? I mean if you can research about Rhianna and that dress she wore that was darn near naked and most of the folks were goggling that, Google the work that Ruby Dee put in Civil Rights. If you can also research about the stupid saga of Blue Ivy’s hair, or some $200.00 sneakers you saw on Instagram, then research about Ruby Dee! Now many of you probably don’t care about Ruby Dee and what she stood for. But at least take the time folks! And when you research, don’t do it for me! Do it for yourself. And if you do that, then you might be on to something. Don’t just research Ruby Dee because of her hair, her clothes, or her shoes she wore. Research her for her instinct, her black queen pride, her activism, her causes, her devotion to service, her great legacy that she left behind. The who, what, where, when, why and how. Research those things that are better, far better than you have now. When she came up, she and many others had to bust down doors so guys like you and I can carry on with this era of technological advances. Even going on your apps. I like apps too, but I’m just saying. Matter of fact, this era of the 21st Century needs more Ruby Dees in causes right now to stand up to racism, sexism, and many more concerns of the world!
The lasting thing about her death, as we know that she will be cremated. Her ashses will be in the same Urn that Ossie Davis’ ashes are contained. Plus the inscription of the Urn will read “In this thing together.” Talk about everlasting love.
She ran her race very well.