Library Green Lawton Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801
The oscar-nominated actress, poet, playwright, and civil rights activist, Ruby Dee died June 11, 2014 at her home in New Rochelle. Her Broadway career started in 1943 where she also met her true love and life partner, Ossie David in a 1946 Broadway play.
“The New Rochelle Public Library Theatre and Library Green were named for Ossie Davis in 2005 and the renaming of Library Green for Ruby Dee is anticipated for spring 2015.” (http://patch.com/new-york/newrochelle/ruby-dee-park-library-green-dedicated-new-rochelle)
These two began their journey and making their mark by appearing in many films and plays until Davis death in 2005. They were known as the “power couple” of their time, both committed to social justice as to the performing arts community. Among Davis and Dee’s most-notable joint stage appearances were those in A Raisin in the Sun (1959) and Spike Lee‘s Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991).
However, Dee was widely known for her own accomplishments and appeared in numerous projects without Davis. In fact, Dee has contributed over 70 films for which she is famously known. One of her best known films was A Raisin in the Sun reconducted in 1961. She became the first African American woman to play leading roles at the American Shakespeare Festival, in 1965 to as well starring in leading roles on soap operas in the 1960’s. She also went on to winning an Emmy for her 1990’s performance in “Decoration Day.” She received her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in 2008 for her work in “American Gangster.” Dee was obviously a phenomenal women of her 70 plus year career; she received numerous awards for her stage and screen performances and became a voice to many young women.
So to honor her legacy Library Green will now be known as “The Ruby Dee Park at Library Green”
I have always loved everything about this wonderful lady. Meeting her would have meant the world to me. Although, I am struck by her lost, I’m glad to come to such a beautiful park to commemorate her legacy. I’m just so happy to see people come out, celebrate, and keep her legacy at the forefront of the community. just to image that this park is right across the library that I’m a member (although I live in the Bronx/ better books here). And, this is a place people can enjoy the beauty of history by a simple walk in the park enliven by the hall of fame. This one of New Rochelle’s great public spaces.
It was the New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and a commemoration committee idea to rename the park in Ruby Dee’s name. Mayor Bramson stated, “Library Green park represents so much of what Ruby Dee held dear- beautiful gardens, a space welcoming of all ages and ethnicities, and a platform for arts and culture- not to mention our historic Walk of Fame. It is a fitting location for a tribute.”
She didn’t only play outspoken movie roles that touched many of our hearts, but she also acted out on social justice issues in America, fighting for many African American rights as citizen. We have Ruby Dee to thank for being one of the advocates who’ve broken through the racial barriers on Broadway, and Television.
“We are artists also, and workers above all. We are image-makers. Why can’t we image-makers become peacemakers too? – Ruby Dee