Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ossie

Ossie Davis
Ossie Davis, actor, playwright, and civil rights activist, was born on Dec 18, 1917, in Cogdell, Georgia. Among his plays are Paul Robeson: All American, Escape to Freedom, and Purlie Victorious. He also wrote Just Like Martin and Life Lit by Some Large Vision. In 2004 he and his wife Ruby Dee were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors.

A linguistic note, on his name: it was really Raiford Chatman Davis; he acquired the name "Ossie" after a county clerk misheard his mother pronounce his initials, "R.C." I personally turned a "Forrest" into a "Fost" (short, I supposed, for "Foster"), and a "Burton" into a "Button" (well, he was five) in exactly that same way (though in neither case so lastingly).

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