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Viola Davis Celebrates 55th Birthday With Purchase Of Former Plantation Where She Was Born

viola davis purchases former plantation where she was born

Viola Davis just celebrated her 55th birthday on Tuesday in the most special way.

The How To Get Away With Murder star shared that she purchased the house and property where she was born, a former plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Along with a photo of the home which was uploaded to Instagram and Twitter, Davis wrote:

“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.”

Related: Ryan Reynolds Recalls ‘Mistake’ Of Marrying Blake Lively At An Old Plantation

She concluded her birthday post with a Cherokee birth blessing, writing:

“May you live long enough to know why you were born.”

The Academy Award winner has been vocal about her early childhood home, which was formerly used as a plantation. Living in extreme poverty with her siblings before moving to Rhode Island as a young girl, the experience has led her to become a vocal advocate against hunger. In 2016, she reflected on those earliest years, telling EW about her b:

“I wasn’t on it long, because I was the fifth child, and so we moved soon after I was born. I mean, I went back to visit briefly but still not aware of the history. I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation which was horrific. 160 acres of land, and my grandfather was a sharecropper. Most of my uncles and cousins, they’re farmers. That’s the choice that they had. My grandmother’s house was a one room shack. I have a picture of it on my phone because I think it’s a beautiful picture.”

Related: Viola Feels Like She ‘Betrayed’ Herself & Her ‘People’ By Starring In The Help

Her choice to reclaim the property where obvious atrocities once took place comes amid heightened awareness surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, which has inspired many cities and towns to examine pro-slavery statues that were previously erected.

Viola isn’t the only one to make a significant purchase like this as of late. Broadway star Robert Hartwell quickly went viral online after posing with his newly purchased home in June, which was built 200 years ago by enslaved people:

“I know this house is bigger than me. I wish I could’ve told my ancestors when they were breaking their backs in 1820 to build this house that 200 years later a free gay black man was going to own it and fill it with love and find a way to say their name even when 200 years later they still thought I would be ‘off the table’. We are building our own tables. I’ve never been prouder to be a black man. Come to my White House any time. I can’t wait to have you! Glory to God in the highest. I’m a homeowner.”

We can only imagine how emotional it is to claim ownership of a property that holds centuries of deep meaning.

And for Viola, this is clearly a gift to herself she’ll never forget.

[Image via WENN/Instar.]

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Aug 11, 2020 14:35pm PDT