Roger Ebert on Ossie Davis


I had this half-formed musing on artists over the age of seventy whose passing would bring me to tears:
Studs Terkel 1912
Shelby Foote 1916
Pete Seeger 1919
Howard Zinn 1922
Max Roach 1924
Ruby Dee 1924
Harry Belafonte 1927
Sonny Rollins 1930
Mariam Makeba 1932
Bill Moyers 1934

Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia and he was on that list. In spite of my expectation, I did not cry when I learned of his passing. I didn't cry until I thought about the remnant of Ruby Dee's march for freedom in this world. Then I watched their scenes in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing as Da Mayor and Mother Sister... and I wept. It will be a long time before I'm able to go near Jungle Fever .