No, Viola Davis did not buy the plantation house she was born in
To celebrate her 55th birthday, Viola Davis shared a picture on Instagram of her modest beginnings
Viola Davis did not buy the plantation she was born on despite it being the latest online rumor du jour.
The claim spread like wildfire after an Instagram post Davis authored in honor of her 55th birthday was misinterpreted, USA Today reports.
On Tuesday, she shared a picture of the home she grew up in South Carolina with her followers. The residence used to be a slave plantation.
“The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965,” she wrote, along with a picture of the house with a broken roof. “It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life….I own it….all of it.”
The Academy award-winning actress ended the post with a “Cherokee Birth Blessing” enscribed “May you live long enough to know why you were born.”
Her phrasing led some to believe she purchased the wooden home and that interpretation took on a life of its own, misreported as fact by several sites. Davis clarified her remarks a day later.
“Uhh….contrary to websites….I do not ‘own’ above house, I ‘own’ my STORY!! Too abstract I guess,” she wrote on IG.
This is not the first time that the award-winning actress has referenced her humble beginnings. In 2016, she shared with People and Entertainment Weekly how her grandfather was a sharecropper on the Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina.
Davis and her family moved out of the home after she was born but she’s always felt drawn to it. She noted there was no bathroom or running water. “I went back to visit briefly, but still not aware of the history,” she said.
“I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation, which was horrific. 160 acres of land, and my grandfather was a sharecropper. Most of my uncles and cousins, they’re farmers. That’s the choice that they had. And my grandmother’s house was a one-room shack. I have a picture of it on my phone, because I think it’s a beautiful picture.”
Despite the home having such a painful background, Davis said her birth brought about a moment of joy. She was celebrated by aunts and uncles coming over to the house to toast the new arrival.
“Everyone was drinking and laughing, and having fun. [My mother] said she ate a sardine, mustard, onion, tomato sandwich after I was born. I love that story. It’s a great story to me,” she recalled.
“It’s a great story of celebration in the midst of what you would feel is a decimated environment, but you could see the joy and the life that can come out of that because it’s not always about things, you know.”
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