« Home | ¡Ossie Davis, Presente! » | An offensive like Tet » | Go Eagles » | Easier than winning the lottery » | Condoms! » | We Won't Go » | War Times/Tiempo de Guerras » | Pope calls for Solidarity, Proposes Solutions to e... » | "There's only one sure bet with security: practice... » | “Bombard the Headquarters!” » 

Friday, February 11, 2005 

Bill Fletcher on the Passing of Ossie Davis

February 8, 2005
Saying good-bye to Ossie Davis
By Bill Fletcher, Jr., on behalf of TransAfrica Forum
The most appropriate response to the news of Ossie Davis' passing was voiced by my wife: “There are certain people who are just not supposed to die.”

The loss of Ossie Davis is a loss to innumerable communities, and to the global community as a whole. One of the most eloquent of orators, his career, and that of his wife and partner Ruby Dee, spanned more than fifty years. So much has and will continue to be said about Ossie Davis' career in the entertainment world. Introduced to multiple generations, and being relevant to each, Ossie Davis came to represent the consummate actor, always carrying himself—irrespective of the part that he played—with the utmost professionalism and dignity.

The Ossie Davis that I will miss the most, however, was the Ossie Davis who read the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X; the Ossie Davis who was an outspoken opponent of the apartheid regime in South Africa; the Ossie Davis who stood with workers and their unions in their struggles for social and economic justice; the Ossie Davis who refused to let the red-baiters and the blacklisters silence his voice for freedom, peace, and justice.

I saw Ossie Davis in the flesh on one VERY cold day—February 15, 2003—at the massive anti-war rally in New York City. I was on stage helping with coordination and, as if out of nowhere, appeared Ossie Davis to express his solidarity with the demonstrators and his outrage with an administration that, in lying to the U.S. public, was preparing to plunge us into an illegal, immoral war. Ossie Davis refused to remain silent.

I will miss the reassurance that came in listening to Ossie Davis speak. I will miss the courage that he radiated, willing to take such great risks, standing in the face of oppression. I will miss the generosity that came from him and Ruby Dee, a generosity much deeper than about money alone, but a generosity that flowed from their commitment to social movements, and fundamentally, from a commitment to people.

Indeed, there are certain people who are not supposed to leave us. I actually think that he never will.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is President of TransAfrica Forum
Bill Fletcher, Jr. can be reached at bfletcher@transafricaforum.org

About Me

Recent Comments

Current Books // Articles

Previous posts

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates