With sadness we take note of the death of a great actor,
activist, and human being; a giant who dedicated most of his life to the
struggle of peace, and social justice. Ossie Davis
achieved what many call the 'American Dream'-- he made it, he became successful as an actor but he did not forget those of
lesser means. He did not forget those millions around the world who struggle in
poverty, he did not forget those in America struggling against the scourge of
racism and economic injustice. Ossie stood up, and gave those millions a
voice, by using his celebrity status as a tool and platform. In the 1950's
he voiced support for those blacklisted by McCarthyism, in the 1960's he often
walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr., fought for civil rights and
spoke out against the Vietnam War, when it was unpopular to do so.
He had recently been active as well, against America's presence
in Iraq. He would speak out every chance offered him, against the
War in Iraq. In
March 2003, Ossie was present at Riverside Church in New York City as
the Bush Administration geared up for the invasion, and delivered an eloquent
and passionate speech against War. His words solidified my stance
against war and my own commitment to do what I could thenceforth for
In this life, there are those who dedicate themselves to
destroying, in their drive for self-aggrandizement. Ossie was not one
of them, he was a builder, he left the world a better place than that which
he found. The world becomes a much colder and emptier place without
Ossie Davis in it. We mourn his passing.
I mourn his passing.
May he rest in peace.
As Langston Hughes once said, 'What happens to a dream deferred
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