Hollywood actress, Viola Davis Opens Up About Bullying, Trauma, Domestic Violence And Poverty while growing up


Award-winning American actress, Viola Davis grew up in deep poverty with her parents and five siblings.

The 56 year old was raised in dilapidated, condemned building infested with rats; dumpster-diving among maggots for food; oozing urine stench at school because she had wet the bed and the family had no clean laundry; incessant bullying by boys who threw rocks at her for being Black.

Viola Davis photographed at a private residence in Los Angeles, CA on April 5, 2022.
Photographer: Peggy Sirota

Viola Davis recounted moments her drunk father would hit her mom as well as sexual abuse she had to endure with her sisters. Yet Davis insists: “I count it all as joy. I do,” she says. “All of those things happened to me, but I own it. And it’s a part of who I am.”

Speaking of those life moments to People magazine, Viola admitted In her new memoir Finding Me, admired that:

“Everything I’ve experienced is what connects me to the world. It’s given me an extraordinary sense of compassion. It’s reconciling that young girl in me and healing from the past — and finding a home,” she says.

The actress admits she had “an enormous existential crisis” before deciding to write her memoir.

“I always thought acting defined my life, and it doesn’t,” she says. “What people in the world tell you is that if you find that thing that you do, that you are great at, then that’s it. And you have money in the bank, and you have a house, and you have a cute husband, and he loves you and your kid, that’s it. And it’s not.”

“I was still hiding a huge part of my story,” she adds. “It’s almost like I reinvented all the things that I wanted to and tossed away the rest of it. You know when you look at pictures down memory lane, and you see it differently. I’m looking at little Viola, and I see how strong she was and how she was just a spitfire. I think that’s why I wrote the book, that if I somehow explored it, unpacked those memories, resolving them, that somehow I could find my peace.”

Finishing the book made the actress feel “terrified but great,” says Davis, who next stars in and exec-produces the Showtime series The First Lady.

“That’s what happens when you just go out on the limb, and you live your truth, is that you risk exposure. You risk shame. You risk criticism. But boy, there is absolutely no other way to live.”


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