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John H. Johnson
School of Communications honors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
(August 5, 2009) Howard University's John H. Johnson School of
Communications' (JHJSOC) recently presented a tribute and film retrospective
in honor of the legendary couple, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The event was
presented during Harlem Week in partnership with the Woodie King Jr. New
Howard University alumni and guests were invited to a Literary Tribute to
Ossie and Ruby at George Faison's Firehouse Theatre in Harlem on Monday,
July 27. The tribute featured renowned poets Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka
whose performances highlighted the imagery of Ossie and Ruby's compelling
The film festival attracted local celebrity favorites and national names
alike, including: Susan L. Taylor, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornel West,
members of the 100 Black Men Coalition, several professional athletes and
New York's power brokers.
Ruby Dee is joined by son
Guy Davis, Susan Taylor, Khephra Burns, and Dr. Jannette L. Dates.
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee have over 100 films and theatrical performances to
their credit. Some of their films showcased at the AMC Magic Johnson Theatre
July 29-30, included "Cotton Comes to Harlem," "A Letter to Booker," "Fussell's
Landing," "Gone are the Days," and "Jungle Fever" to name a few. Other
notable black films were also screened, including: "Princess and a Frog" the
first Disney film that featured a black princess; "Rollin with the Rev" a
film moderated by Steven A. Smith and narrated by Danny Glover; and "More
Than a Game" which depicts LeBron James' early basketball career..
"Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are exemplars for us all. Their dedication to the
communities in which they lived was the driving force in their professional
lives as well as their private lives. They felt the need to give back to
those who respected them for their activism and loved them for their work.
We feel especially fortunate to have had them involved with our school for
so many years," said Dr. Jannette L. Dates, dean of the JHJSOC. Monies
raised by the Ossie Davis/Ruby Dee Film Festival Tribute were contributed to
the new facility that will house John H. Johnson School of Communications.
Sponsors for the events included: The Coca- Cola Company, Costco, the
Jamaica Tourist Board, Magic Johnson Theatres and George Faison's Firehouse