Black-actress

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“I think that as a black woman, my beingness is a form of activism in and of itself. The fact that I am on a show called Black-ish, that I’m playing a woman who is both a wife and a doctor, a mother and a person, a partner and an individual, and that I am playing a joyful black woman on television who is not just surviving but thriving is by definition a form of activism. If I take that and ripple it out further in an amplified way, I can’t help, from my beingness, to not be a form of activism, because that is who I am.” - Tracee Ellis Ross, Good Housekeeping Magazine

A movie about Viola Davis because her life deserves to be known

The only picture I have of my childhood is the picture of me in kindergarten, I have this expression on my face — it’s not a smile, it’s not a frown. I swear to you, that’s the girl who wakes up in the morning and who looks around her house and her life saying, ‘I cannot believe how God has blessed me.’ “ 

“I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry, I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.” 

“I was the kind of poor where I knew right away I had less than everyone around me. We had nothing, I cannot believe my life, I just can’t, I’m so blessed. I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry, I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.”

“It became a motivation as opposed to something else — the thing about poverty is that it starts affecting your mind and your spirit because people don’t see you, I chose from a very young age that I didn’t want that for my life. And it very much has helped me appreciate and value the things that are in my life now because I never had it. A yard, a house, great plumbing, a full refrigerator, things that people take for granted, I don’t.”

I first envisioned myself as an actor after I watched Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman when I was a child.”

“It wasn’t until then that I had a visual manifestation of the target I wanted to hit, It also gave me hope for the future and a different life for myself, she helped me have a very specific drive of how I was going to crawl, walk, run from that environment.”

“I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” 

Benton underscores how “exclusion is rooted in such an ugly history of purposeful discrimination.” She goes on to note about the need for diversity in casting, “For us, it’s not necessarily a political statement. It’s just our livelihood. We’re actors who are happy to be working and having the opportunity to tell stories.”