Ruby Dee memorial celebration

September 25, 2014

Ruby Dee, legendary actress, author and activist was honored with a public memorial celebration at the Riverside Church in New York City on Sept. 20. She and her husband Ossie Davis, long-time friends of the veterans of the Lincoln Brigade, were extraordinarily generous and bold, lending their celebrity to a host of leftist causes. Throughout her life, Ruby Dee refused to play the stereotypical roles of maid or Mammy, which were then the only available roles to black actresses, and chose to play assertive women in mostly progressive films.

Ruby Dee in 1972.

Ruby Dee in 1972.

From AP on the memorial celebration:

Actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee was memorialized Saturday in poetry, dance and song at a packed Harlem cathedral where Alicia Keys sang her song “Superwoman,” Wynton Marsalis performed a stirring trumpet solo, and well-wishes were sent from Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and the White House.

The three-hour celebration of Dee’s life was held at the cavernous Riverside Church in New York on Saturday. Dee died June 11 at age 91 and was called everything from a “small but mighty lady,” to a “street-fighter” to the “voice of our humanity.”

Read the obituary in the New York Times here.
View photos of the memorial taken by Len and Nancy Tsou here.