Yesterday, Viola Davis celebrated her fifty-fifth birthday and, in doing so, she revisited her precarious beginnings...
It's been a momentous fifty-five years for Viola.
via: GettyThe actress, who is best known for her roles in Law & Order, Antwone Fisher, and The Help, has grown to become one of the most iconic performers of her age.
Her versatility in front of the camera is staggering.
via: GettyFrom playing powerful and aggressive characters like Annalise Keating in How To Get Away With Murder to more heartfelt and courageous women like Aibileen Clark in The Help, Viola is known and loved for her incredible range of roles.
And, on top of all that...
via: GettyViola remains as the only African-American performer to win Tony, Oscar, and Emmy Awards.
She has become a prominent figure across the African-American community...
via: GettyAnd, regardless of her fame and success, she has never shied away from her more perilous beginnings.
Viola grew up in deep poverty.recalled how she "grew up in immense shame" about her situation, adding that it has taken her years to fully process the effect that it had on her.
And, while being honored for her philanthropic work with the charity, Hunger Is back in 2014, Viola opened up about the grizzly details surrounding her childhood even further.
via: YouTube"Although my childhood was filled with many happy memories, it was also spent in abject poverty."
She didn't hold back.
via: YouTubeSpeaking valiantly and solemnly, she continued: "I was one of the seventeen million kids in this country who didn't know where the next meal was coming from... And I did everything to get food."
Her speech was difficult to stomach.
via: YouTube"I've stolen for food. I've jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food. I have befriended people in the neighborhood who I knew had mothers who cooked 3 meals a day for food, and I sacrificed a childhood, for food."
But she has used her platform to try and change the lives of the millions of children currently growing up in poverty...
And, more recently, she revealed the dark history her place of birth held.
The building has a dark past.PEOPLE, Viola had explained: "I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation which was horrific."
Her family worked long and laborious hours on that plantation.
And the condition of the "shack" fared no better.
via: TwitterShe recalled how there was "no running water, no bathroom... It’s just an outhouse." Above, you can see a photo of the building.
But, regardless of the dire conditions, Viola recalls how she was born into a family full of love and laughter.
"I love that story," Davis continued.
Viola and her family continued to live in the shack until their move to Rhode Island...
Taking to Twitter, Viola revealed that she had bought the rights to Singleton Plantation.
She wrote: "The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life....I own it....all of it. 'May you live long enough to know why you were born.' -Cherokee Birth Blessing- "
The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of… https://t.co/ViSNcuznYF— Viola Davis (@Viola Davis)1597161235.0
Quickly, people began to send in their words of congratulations...
With many applauding the actress for embracing her humble beginnings.
@tamronhall @violadavis Wow. Where we come from helps to define who we are. Some people forget where they came from… https://t.co/QMgKIdm8ox— DSU🍻 to the #Revolution #WeWon (@DSU🍻 to the #Revolution #WeWon)1597186999.0
This is a brand new era for Singleton Plantation...
And we are sure that Viola will create new memories, all while honoring the memory of the slaves who once worked the land. For more on the treacherous history of slavery in this country, keep scrolling to see why Rhode Island was moved to change its name recently...
@violadavis Your ancestors are smiling today. Peace and blessings today and always. Happy Birthday! 💐 https://t.co/dmyVflImkq— Dudette Wears A 😷 💛🐝 (@Dudette Wears A 😷 💛🐝)1597162411.0