The Museum of the Moving Image is presenting A Tribute to Ruby Dee, hosted by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, on Sunday, September 21, 2:30 p.m., at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106.
Ruby Dee, the groundbreaking film and theater actor, had a remarkable career that began in the 1940’s, continued through the Civil Rights movement, in which she played a key role both on-screen and off, and did not end until her death at age 91 in June of this year. Her breakthrough film role was as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun. She frequently appeared on screen and stage with Ossie Davis, her husband and artistic partner for more than 60 years, and received an Oscar nomination for her role as a Harlem drug lord’s loving mother in American Gangster.
This special tribute program will be presented with clips from her films and remarks by actors and directors who worked with Ruby Dee, including a video message from Harry Belafonte. Guest speakers include Woodie King Jr., Darnell Martin, Michael Schultz, and Glynn Turman.
The screening and live event is part of Changing the Picture (2014), sponsored by Time Warner Inc. Organized by Warrington Hudlin, President, Black Filmmaker Foundation.
This special tribute takes place the day after Dee’s star-studded public memorial at Riverside Church, which aired on BET and ran over three hours.
Highlights of the joyful memorial at Riverside Church included musical tributes by Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Peter Yarrow, Dee’s son, Guy Davis, and a poem by Sonia Sanchez.
Phylicia Rashad, Pauletta Pearson Washington, Elizabeth Van Dyke, Tyne Daly, Kim Fields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Lynn Whitfield, and Susan L. Taylor read Dee’s poetry and prose. New Federal Theatre’s Woodie King, Jr. gave context to Dee’s impact, longtime involvement and contributions to the Black Theater world in his remarks. Former Mayor David Dinkins related a special message from the White House; Glynn Turman shared his remembrances of working with Dee on A Raisin in The Sun and read a message from Sydney Poitier. Harry Belafonte eulogy was played via a special video message.
In her memory, the family suggests that donations be made to the Ruby Dee Memorial Fund at Hunter College, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. or a local community theater.
The Museum is honored to be part of a series of celebrations commemorating Ruby Dee, who truly changed the picture for African-Americans on screen and in society. Tickets: $12 ($9 senior citizens and students / free for Museum members). Order online or call 718 777 6800 to reserve tickets (during regular Museum hours).
Changing the Picture (2014) is an ongoing series celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen. The series, which consists of screenings and discussions with directors, writers, actors, scholars, and more, includes contemporary work as well as historically significant work that has played an important role in the evolving attempt to “change the picture” and bring a wider variety of voices and visions to the moving image.
Other Articles about Ruby Dee: Ruby Dee, Actress and Activist, 1922 – 2014
Time.com: Remembering Ruby Dee: A Lifetime of Activism and Artistry
insidemovies.ew.com: Inside Movies Pioneering actress Ruby Dee dies at 91
Ruby Dee dead at 91: Legendary stage and screen actress — and Civil Rights leader — frequently costarred with husband Ossie Davis
abcnews.com: Oscar Nominee Ruby Dee Dead at 91
usatoday.com: Ruby Dee: A ‘force of nature’ in art, life
Other articles by Lia Chang:
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion, On View September 26, 2014 – April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
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Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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