Book Review: Found Self in Viola Davis’s “Finding Me”.

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( Viola Davis is an actress with such an impact that she inspires thought and inspiration through the many characters she brings to life. I must she between Annalise Keaton in “How To Get Away With Murder”, and Nanisca in “The Woman King” she has inspired me to think about many aspects of my life. I know I can’t be alone in that feeling. However, I believe one of the greatest gifts she has given us is an introduction to the woman the characters in her book “Finding Me”. The reader embarked on a journey through the life of Viola Davis.

“I felt like I had two choices: either apologize for who I was and try to alter how I look to meet their standards and try to fit in to what the masses were saying, or I could stay true to myself and make Annalise me, what I look like what I sound like.”

Viola Davis “Finding Me”.
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Poverty and the shame it caused was greatly highlighted. I found it difficult to keep a dry eye at some points, because the pages come alive as though you are watching a scene from a movie. My heart broke for the child that was scared by poverty and bullied because of such. There were parts of the book that were certainly hard to read, because no child should have to endure that degree of lack.

“I’m aware of what my presence out there means to Black women. And how important it is to speak my truth. Because here’s the thing you can’t take away or replace: You can’t replace my authentic story with a racist one.”

Viola Davis is one of the leading authentic representations for Black Women. She is a beautiful black woman that is challenging the beauty standard through her authenticity. In “Finding Me” the reader comes to understanding of the importance of representing oneself in truth from the perspective of Viola Davis. She is passionate about representation, as she has experienced the disparity and self-doubt this can cause. This is one area that so many can resonate with because her work brings her into direct conflict not only with the beauty standard, but how it varies based on colorism.

“An actor’s job is to be an observer of life. My job is not to study other actors, because that is not studying life. As much as I can I study people. If you’re my audience, it’s not my job to give you a fantasy. It’s my job to give you yourself.”

Many of us understand acting is an art form, but in “Finding Me” Viola Davis speaks on the importance of her craft. Being able to make ones audience reflect on the content, and how it relates to self is powerful. She doesn’t take what she does for granted, and that is obvious in her role choices and her critique of the roles she’s played. For those that may have wondered how Viola Davis felt about the authenticity of her character in “The Help”, for example, are able to get her perspective on what the character needed.  I walked away from this book feeling like I had just sat down with an elder that was explaining life as they have encountered it. I laughed cried, was surprised, but most importantly I was inspired. This is a book I would recommend as you’ll read it and revisit it when life calls for it.

Finding Me” by Viola Davis can be found at your local bookstore, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at FacebookC. Starr and also TwitterMrzZeta.