Beth Johnson
January 08, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

With Ossie & Ruby

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee
publisher
Morrow
genre
Nonfiction, Movies, Memoir

We gave it a B+

Coinciding with the thespian couple’s 50th wedding anniversary, the joint autobiography With Ossie &amp Ruby is both a theater memoir and a personal account of the 20th-century African-American experience. Alternating chapters, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee chronicle their unwavering struggle against racism (and friendships with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X), the pressures of holding together a showbiz marriage (they quickly abandoned their open-marriage experiment), the limited roles for black actors (Dee played Sidney Poitier’s wife five times), and their own resourcefulness in creating artistic opportunities. Dee’s novelistic details and haunting memories make her half the more compelling, but together the pair give testament to the rewards of a lifetime spent honoring commitments. B+

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