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Ruby Dee was a marvelously expressive actor, and a lifelong risk-taking radical committed to challenging racial and economic inequality. She made history as part of an extraordinary group of Black Arts radicals — including Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, Harry Belafonte, John O. Killens and Julian Mayfield, as well as her husband Ossie Davis — who actively protested white supremacy and thought deeply about the political implications of conventional racial representations, creating new stories and introducing new Black characters to convey deep truths about Black life.

In small parts and choice roles, Dee’s presence lit up stage and screen. In her work as an actor and at rallies and on picket lines, Dee stood with working men and women, Black and white, and dedicated her talents to righting the wrongs articulated by the Black and labor left.


Published in the November/December 2014 issue of Against the Current, a publication of Solidarity:


Against the Current, Solidarity



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