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An Evening with Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee (TV Movie 2002) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • This hour-long, one-on-one interview provides a candid glimpse into the lives of actors and "National Treasures" Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Taped on October 18, 2002 at The Art Institute of Chicago in front of a live audience, the couple was interviewed by activist and scholar Angela Davis. Master of Ceremonies Micah Materre, WGN-TV morning news anchor, began the program speaking of the profound influence Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had on her life. Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee begin the interview describing their involvement in political and social campaigns. They then lovingly describe when they met, during the American Negro Theater's production of Jeb, and getting married in New Jersey in 1948. The interview continues as they explain the American Negro Theater's role in fighting segregation and discrimination after World War II as well as the struggles of actors and artists during the McCarthy era. Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee then tell stories of their relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X as well as how they included their children in their political activism. After speaking of their roles in Cotton Comes to Harlem and Roots, Angela Davis asks them to describe their professional and personal relationship with film director Spike Lee. Though their entertainment careers blossomed, their commitment to humanitarian and political activism never waned. As the interview comes to a close, they reflect on the connection between art and politics and offer ideas on how to encourage younger generations to work for positive change in the world. At the time of the taping, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had been married for more than fifty years. Not long after the taping, Ossie Davis passed away on February 4, 2005.

    - Written by Julieanna Richardson, Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers

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