Ruby Dee was the zeitgeist of Black womanhood.  She was our Ruth in Raisin in the Sun, our Queen in Roots, our Mother-Sister in Do the Right Thing, our Mama Lucas in American Gangster.  Ruby Dee's face, her soulful voice, her spirited laughter is the very epitome of Black cinema. 

Her Hollywood career was phenomenal but life painted an even more brilliant story.  She was an activist.  A forceful member of CORE, SNCC, NAACP, Urban League, AND Delta Sigma Theta.  Harlem through and through, Ruby was for us, by us.  She was in it - the anti-lynching legislation, the demand for Paul Robeson's passport, anti-war protests, labor campaigns, the Black Arts movement..she was a leader in the campaign to "Free Angela," she'd personally planned a party to unite Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. two weeks before Malcolm was murdered...and just take a moment to watch this video of her reading the names of Black lives taken by the police after 21-year olds Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered in their home. At 77 years old, when Amadou Diallo was killed, Ruby Dee and her family protested in front of 1 Police Plaza in NYC until she was arrested. 


And can we talk about Black Love? 

You can’t utter the sound of her name, Ruby Dee, without your tongue clicking praise to her lover, Ossis Davis.  Their love was definitive. Instructional. Swoon-worthy. aperitif for our collective imagination. They gave us a master class on Black Love as Legacy. Eye contact. Hand holding. Passionate embraces.  Side-by-sideness. It was, well, satisfying.  They made us remember. 

It is no wonder that upon their deaths, they were cremated and their ashes put in the same urn, with the inscription, "In this thing together."  

Today is a celebration of Black Love, starring Ruby Dee.

...and Ossie Davis.






DAY 20: We are the #DaughtersOf Ruby Dee

Jointly presented the National Medal of Arts, Dee and Davis officially became a “national treasures” together.  Today's walk and talk is dedicated to her brilliant life and their brilliant love. 



Walk and Talk
LIVE! 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET

Weekdays, June 1 - 30, 2020

Dial: 1 (646) 876-9923 CODE: 734464325
(1 (646) 876-9923, 734464325#)
International? Find your dial-in number here.

Missed the call? Catch up on Spotify or Apple podcast.
Follow @GirlTrek on IG for today's recording.


Use #blackhistorybootcamp to join the juiciest conversation on Twitter.

- What kind of love affair do you want?

- For a period of time, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis had an open relationship? What do you think about that?

- Ruby Dee talked a lot about following a divine calling in your life.  She called it a "large assignment."  What is your large assignment, your divine calling?

- In Nikki Giovanni's poem, she says that if we could just be natural women, doing what natural women do, we'd have a revolution.  What does that kind of revolution require of us?

Upon her passing, her daughter Nora Day, said: "She very peacefully surrendered."  She mastered the balance between strength and surrender as an artist.  How do we practice the art of surrender, release, openness?



- LISTEN: Daughters of Ruby Dee, A Spotify Playlist.

WATCH: An Evening with Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis hosted by Angela Davis.

- READ: Ruby Dee's brand of womanhood is such a powerful example of Nikki Giovanni's poem Revolutionary Dreams. (...and watch her perform this awesome poem, Men Who Loved Me.)

- ACTION: Plan a special date night or ask someone out who you've been eyeing.  Virtual or social distance dates are good for the soul.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Coronavirus is still killing Black people disproportionately.  Please do not gather or walk in groups until we flatten the curve in our communities. Do not trust policy over the protection of Black lives. To support mental health, we invite you to walk virtually with us each day.  This is a solo training mission to build your own discipline, fortitude, and physical strength for the days ahead.  Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands when you return home.


New to Black History Bootcamp?

Did you miss any of the powerful content provided in the past weeks? Catch up here. Listen to the Walk & Talks hosted by co-founders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison on Spotify or Apple podcast.


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