To Be Equal…Ruby Dee exits the stage but remains in our hearts

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(NNPA)—“The kind of beauty I want is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within:  strength, courage, dignity.”—Ruby Dee

In the past several weeks, two remarkable African-American women artists took their final bows.  In the midst of mourning the May 28 passing of Maya Angelou, we learned that last Wednesday that the great actress and activist Ruby Dee died at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y.  Both Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee used their incomparable talents to reshape our notions of beauty, womanhood and race. They also inspired millions of people around the world with their extraordinary wisdom and dignity.

Everything about Ruby Dee was an expression of a lifelong dedication to human rights, racial equality and social justice—from the roles she portrayed to the causes she championed, even to the man she loved and was married to for 56 years, actor Ossie Davis. Though her physical presence is no longer with us, the larger-than-life impact Ruby Dee had on the stage, screen and the public consciousness will live on forever.

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