Books Culture Non-Fiction Personalities Reviews

The making of a phenomenal black woman

Title: Finding Me

Author: Viola Davis

Publisher: HarperCollins

Reviewer: Scholastica Moraa

Viola Davis. The woman who set our screens on fire with her act in ‘The Woman King’. Picking this book was a search for who she is, for who she became; for the intricate pieces of what makes this phenomenal black woman.

Finding Me is a biography of one woman’s search for who she is. That eight-year-old girl, who kept running until she decided to run no more. Without holding anything back she shows us her family, in all its ugly, delicate and awfully beautiful edges. I fell in love with MaMama – her mother ‘with the -and stuff like that in tha’.

I honestly think no words can bring out the rawness with which Viola Davis brought out her story.  She fought so many demons her pain and shame are palpable. For people who cry easily, this can make you cry. Her violent father, the utter poverty… the struggle. But then these kids dreamt their pain away.

Viola Davis’ story is not the typical caterpillar that morphed into a butterfly. But rather a butterfly that never really knew how beautiful it was.

From a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, this little girl clawed her way to the stage in New York City and beyond. From a girl struggling with bedwetting, running from bullies and being totally unrecognised, Viola has risen to become a household name. A woman we look up to. Someone black girls want to be. It is raw how she says that people did not expect someone who looked like her to take leading roles… but she did and excelled at it. Once she stopped running, once she went down on her knees, her prayers were answered. Some took longer than she expected; but they were answered.

Anyone would have understood if she had given up. But this woman did not. She rose to win several awards including an Oscar and graced our screens with her talent. An inspiration to any little girl who dares to dream. That it doesn’t matter where you start from. It doesn’t matter the odds stacked against you. You will get where you need to.

I totally recommend this read. A million times.

Moraa is a young woman navigating life. Author of Beautiful Mess… Co Author of Dreams and Demons and I’m Listening 2021 edition. She is also the winner of Kendeka Prize of African Literature-2022. She can be found with a book or two. When she’s not fighting to stay afloat, she is daydreaming, writing poetry or reading.