Viola Davis marks 55th birthday with powerful message about her birthplace

By Heather Cichowski

Viola Davis marked her 55th birthday on August 12 by sharing a photo of her birthplace on Instagram, and revealed the poignant message behind it.

"The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965," she explained in the caption about the photo of a home with what appears to be a damaged roof.

"It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life....I own it....all of it," she elaborated.

The Oscar winner also included the Cherokee birth blessing in her post, "May you live long enough to know why you were born."

Viola has previously spoken in interviews about her family history and the property. In 2016, she revealed how she briefly lived on a former plantation, the Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina, in an interview with People.

MORE: Viola Davis praised as her resurfaced comments about the wage gap faced by Black women go viral

“I wasn’t on it long, because I was the fifth child, and so we moved soon after I was born,” she explained on an episode of The Jess Cagle Interview .

The Widows actress said the property had no running water and an outhouse was the only bathroom. Her grandfather was a sharecropper on the property, which had 160 acres of land, and her grandmother's house "was a one-room shack."

Viola revealed she had a photo of the home on her phone and considered it "a beautiful picture."

When the actress shared the image to mark turning another year older, some interpreted her message to mean that she had purchased the property. Viola clarified in the comments that it was only her story she owned and not the property itself.

"Uhh....contrary to websites....I do not 'own' above house," she explained. "I 'own' my STORY!! Too abstract I guess."

Commenters thanked the award-winning actress for sharing her story and embracing all parts of her. Some even opened up about their own experiences and drew inspiration from her message.

A resurfaced interview featuring Viola from 2018 has recently gone viral, thanks to her message about being paid what she's worth. That year, she spoke at a Women in the World event about the wage disparity between men and women, and between Black women and white women.

"I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys," she said. "I've done Broadway, I've done off-Broadway. I've done TV, I've done film. I've done all of it. I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver.

"If there is no one like me — you think I’m that — you pay me what I’m worth," the How to Get With Murder star urged. "You give me what I’m worth.”

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