Life Lit by Some Large Vision: Selected Speeches and Writings Hardcover – Sep 26 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Actor, playwright and civil rights activist Davis passed away in 2005, but this posthumous collection of his writing-including his speeches, essays, eulogies and letters-is a reminder that his legendary voice remains vital. Whether writing about the power of the theatre or the power of the people, Davis was gifted with an ability for remarkable, courageous speech: Calling for a new Constitution in 1968, he said, "Let us sit down and negotiate a peace treaty among ourselves." Davis did not shy away from controversy, be it in defense of the rights of known Communists, or in re-examining the history of African-Americans; writing in 1965, Davis states that "most of the stereotypes we know about Negroes were invented by Negroes for the purposes of survival and social correction." The writer's humor, humility and tremendous inspirational power shine, but suffer from a lack on context. Davis' wife of more than 50 years, the equally renowned actress and activist Ruby Dee, provides commentary at the beginning of most selections, but her notes are often too vague to illuminate Davis' writings properly. Not much elucidation is needed for Davis' eulogy for Malcolm X, perhaps, but subsequent eulogies for less-known figures like actors Godfrey Cambridge and John Randolph could use a biographical sketch. Quibbles aside, this is a great read by a luminous, much-missed American treasure.
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"Ruby Dee's marvelous collection of speeches and writings captures the dignity, eloquence, and passion of Ossie Davis, who blessed us not only with great acting, but with a lifetime of fighting injustice. "Life Lit by Some Large Vision" will inspire everyone who wants to make a better world."
-- President William J. Clinton
"Ossie Davis is an authentic American hero. Through the pages of this book, I hear his rich, deep, melodious voice commanding us to continue to live, to learn, and to love."
-- Tavis Smiley
"This lovely and inspiring book is a final love letter from a devoted wife to an adored husband. It is also a great gift to all of us who continue to learn from their shining example of what it means to be fully, "passionately, " engaged in all that life has to offer. As we read his words, and hers, we are acutely aware that we are in the presence of greatness."
-- Pearl Cleage, author of "Baby Brother's Blues"
"Ossie Davis was the greatest artist/activist since the great Paul Robeson. Only Ruby Dee and Harry Belafonte today can be mentioned in the same breath! His courageous words are even more precious now that his life is our legacy!" -- Cornel West, author of "Democracy Matters"
"Ruby Dee produces for us the voice of her beloved, bringing an uncompromising truth, reminding us of the sound of a black man, bringing us, as he said, the 'scent of freedom.'"
-- Elaine Brown --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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and made light of things known
and things not known. He was part of the civil rights movement
and kept on talking
and making a stand through his career and his words
and enlightenment was felt for generations to come.
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