For her 55th birthday, Viola Davis purchased the St. Matthews, South Carolina plantation where she was born 55 years ago, as she shared via Instagram.
The Academy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning actress shared a photo of the structure where her mom delivered her.”The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life…I own it….all of it,” Davis wrote in the caption of her post. “‘May you live long enough to know why you were born’, Cherokee Birth Blessing,” Davis added.
The How to Get Away With Murder star previously told People that during her childhood she viewed the southern property, named the Singleton Plantation, as a place of joy, despite its dark history. “I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation which was horrific. 160 acres of land and my grandfather was a sharecropper. Most of my uncles and cousins, they’re farmers. That’s the choice that they had,” Davis said. She added, “My grandmother’s house was a one-room shack. I have a picture of it on my phone because I think it’s a beautiful picture.”
The actress shared that her family continued to live on the property, raising Davis and her siblings there until they relocated to Rhode Island shortly after she was born. “My mom says that the day I was born, all of my aunts and uncles were in the house, she said, everyone was drinking and laughing, and having fun,” Davis said. “I love that story. It’s a great story to me. It’s a great story of celebration in the midst of what you would feel is a decimated environment, but you could see the joy and the life that can come out of that, because it’s not always about things, you know.”