Viola Davis has a story to tell—and no, it’s not How to Get Away With Murder. On Wednesday, it was announced that Davis will be releasing a memoir titled Finding Me in April of next year.
“I believe that our stories, and the courage to share them, is the most powerful empathetic tool we have,” she said in a statement obtained by the Miami Herald. “This is my story...straight no chaser.”
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HarperOne will release Davis’ “Finding Me” on April 19, 2022. Davis traces her rise from growing up in poverty and family violence in Rhode Island to becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed actors. She won an Oscar for her starring role in the 2016 film adaptation of August Wilson’s drama “Fences,” an Emmy for “How to Get Away with Murder,” and Tonys for “Fences” and “King Hedley II.”
Davis has long been transparent about her improbable rise to worldwide acclaim against the odds of a deeply impoverished childhood, sharing in 2015 that she’d even attempted shoplifting as a child to get food.
“Most of the time, the school lunch was the only meal I had,” she said. “I would befriend kids whose mothers cooked three meals a day and go to their homes when I could.”
In her fiery speech at the 2018 Women’s March, Davis revealed even more about the challenges and trauma she faced in the years before becoming a household name with a happy and healthy family of her own, saying:
I am always introduced as an award-winning actor. But my testimony is one of poverty. My testimony is one of being sexually assaulted and very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. And I know that every single day, when I think of that, I know that the trauma of those events are still with me today. And that’s what drives me to the voting booth. That’s what allows me to listen to the women who are still in silence. That’s what allows me to even be a citizen on this planet.
“Viola Davis is a powerful truth teller — through her work on stage and screen, as well as in her life,” said HarperOne President and Publisher Judith Curr in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with her on a book that powerfully reveals the risk and danger for a Black woman living in the fullness of her talents and gifts—and the reward and freedom that comes with it.”
The release of Davis’ memoir will also prove a boon for a bastion of Black publishing, as Finding Me will reportedly released in partnership with Ebony Magazine Publishing. Prior to its release, Davis will portray another Black woman living in the fullness of her talent and gifts, when she portrays Michelle Obama for the Showtime series The First Lady, which she also co-produced and is currently set to premiere in February 2022.