Viola Davis' 55th Birthday Message Is All About Owning Your Story
By Jackie Willis
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L'Oréal Paris
Happy birthday, Viola Davis! The Oscar-winning actress turned 55 on Tuesday and shared an inspiring message with her Instagram followers about owning who you are.
"The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life....I own it....all of it," she captioned the photo of the structure located in Saint Matthews, South Carolina.
Davis also shared a Cherokee Birth Blessing that reads, "May you live long enough to know why you were born."
While many assumed she had purchased the home that she grew up in, Davis clarified in the comments, "I do not 'own' above house, I 'own' my STORY!! Too abstract I guess??♀️??♀️????."
Nevertheless, a slew of the How To Get Away With Murder star's famous friends took to the comments section to post some birthday wishes.
"Yes it is so freeing to embrace the place where you grew up , knowing it helped to create the person you are today❤️❤️❤️," Tina Knowles Lawson wrote.
Taraji P. Henson commented, "THANK GOD FOR THIS DAY!!!! Happy birthday beautiful Queen!!! ?????."
Halle Berry wrote, "Happy birthday sweet friend! May your life continue to inspire and your light continue to shine ✨."
Janelle Monae commented, "You are a gift to us all. Happy Birthdáe !!!!"
Octavia Spencer, Shonda Rhimes, Gabrielle Union, Natalie Portman, Michelle Pfeiffer and Courteney Cox also commented on Davis' birthday post.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Davis touched on her childhood and how she was not always so emboldened to speak her mind.
"When I was younger I did not exert my voice because I did not feel worthy of having a voice," she said, revealing that the self-doubt left her wetting the bed until she was 14.
Davis was able to overcome this uncertainty in herself with the help of her sisters and mother.
"[They] looked at me and said I was pretty," she recalled. "Who’s telling a dark-skinned girl that she’s pretty? Nobody says it. I’m telling you, nobody says it. The dark-skinned Black woman’s voice is so steeped in slavery and our history."
"If we did speak up, it would cost us our lives," she added. "Somewhere in my cellular memory was still that feeling -- that I do not have the right to speak up about how I’m being treated, that somehow I deserve it."