1Honoring Ruby Dee, trailblazing actress and civil rights
2activist, celebrating her life and mourning her death.

3WHEREAS, Ruby Dee, a seven decade star of the silver screen,
4an award winning actress and influential voice of social
5justice, died of natural causes at her home in New Rochelle, New
6York, on June 11, 2014; and

7WHEREAS, Ms. Dee, born Ruby Wallace on October 27, 1922, in
8Cleveland, Ohio, was the daughter of a Pullman porter and a
9child of the Harlem Renaissance; and

10WHEREAS, Ms. Dee graduated from Hunter College in New York
11City, with a degree in romance languages; and

12WHEREAS, She created groundbreaking roles both on the
13Broadway stage and on screen, including as the college-educated
14spouse of Jackie Robinson in the 1950 film The Story of Jackie 
15Robinson, at times when the majority of roles for African-
16American actresses were reflective of demeaning racial
17sterotypes; and

18WHEREAS, Her continued success led her to star opposite

1Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun on both Broadway and on
2film; and

3WHEREAS, Ms. Dee further broke down color barriers by being
4the first African-American actress to play lead roles at the
5American Shakespeare Festival, as both Kate in Taming of the 
6Shrew and Cordelia in King Lear, and landed one of her best 
7known roles at 85 years of age opposite Denzel Washington in 
8American Gangster; and

9WHEREAS, Ms. Dee played a lead role in expanding Hollywood's
10portrayal of African Americans to include the rich and complex
11narratives seen in today's media; and

12WHEREAS, Her pioneering talent led to her receiving numerous
13awards, including, but not limited to, the National Medal of
14Arts, an Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement
15Award and a Kennedy Center Honor; and

16WHEREAS, Ms. Dee's contribution to a more equal society
17extended beyond entertainment, to politics and social justice
18activism; and

19WHEREAS, Ms. Dee's commitment to civil rights manifested
20through her role as master of ceremonies at Reverend Dr. Martin
21Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 march on Washington; and

22WHEREAS, She was among the few activists to befriend and
23support the causes of both Dr. King and Malcolm X, given the
24honor of eulogizing both men at their respective funerals; and

25WHEREAS, Ms. Dee further continued to fight for social
26justice by leading protests against apartheid in South Africa
27and lobbying banks to give loans to African Americans; and

28WHEREAS, Through her work, both on screen and off, she fought
29vigorously for equal treatment of women, minorities and other
30oppressed groups around the world; and

1WHEREAS, Ms. Dee is preceded in death by her loving husband
2of 56 years and partner in both acting and social activism,
3Ossie Davis, in 2005; and

4WHEREAS, Ms. Dee and Mr. Davis co-starred in numerous film
5and theater productions, while using their artistic platform to
6demand racial and social justice, Ms. Dee once inquired, "Why
7can't we image makers become peacemakers, too?"; and

8WHEREAS, Ms. Dee is survived by her three children and seven
9grandchildren; therefore be it

10RESOLVED, That the Senate honor the legendary acting career
11and tireless activism of Ruby Dee, celebrate her life and mourn
12her death.