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Finding Me by Viola Davis

By Ava Stern

I am one season away from finishing one of my favorite shows of all time, How to Get Away With Murder. A victim of Shondaland, I am immediately drawn to the melodramatic fast-paced series. Although I love Shonda Rhimes’ work, Viola Davis is what makes me love this show so much.

Viola Davis is an extraordinary actor, and after reading her memoir Finding Me, I was in awe of her talent and perseverance.

Growing up poor, battling racism, family problems, relationship disasters, and countless failures, Viola succeeded when the world didn’t want her to. Davis tells the story of her life leading up to her impressive acting career, including the specific events that changed her mindset and ultimately led her to be an EGOT winner.

The most compelling part of her memoir was her personal growth regarding relationships. She describes a childhood plagued by her father beating her mother, but by the end of the book, she explains how she has forgiven her father. Her personal growth is illustrated through her accomplishments as well as her professional prestige.

She discusses race and its role in every part of her life, from being chased for her dark skin color to hundreds of auditions for white characters. As I learned of her upbringing and the barriers that blocked her from having a successful life, I respect her even more than I already did. Her change in perspective early in life drove her to her impressive career and she has a hell of a lot more determination than me. She is inspiring, strong, and kind.

“Annalise Keating released in me the obstacles blocking me from realizing my worth and power as a woman.”

Her character of Annalise Keating will inspire black girls across the world to reach for their dreams and be the strong, assertive, and intelligent women that they can be. I applaud Viola for sharing her story and looking out for anybody who has had any similar experiences.

Viola’s writing is rhythmic, and seeing her on my TV every night has given me the awesome superpower of reading her words in my head in her voice.

5/5 Stars

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