Prompted by a late Saturday night conversation with a great group of
weirdos friends, I had to write a little letter to my new girlfriend, Viola Davis.
Dear Ms. Davis,
I started this letter “Dear Ms. Davis” to be polite because that’s how I was raised. If this were in church, I’d have called you “Aunt Viola” because that’s what we do at Myrtle. But to be very honest, I’d like to stick to Viola because in my head we’re on a first name basis as I have loved you since Eat, Pray, Love, since Doubt, and since Medea Goes to Jail, Law & Order, Nights in Rodanthe, and Antowne Fisher.
I’ve watched you flourish on screen but also in real life, marrying what seems to be a stunning example of a man in actor Julius Tennon. And then adopting a child, a blessing I have been honored with (as an adopted daughter into a perfectly imperfect family) and am a huge advocate for.
I have seen you go through the motions of hair and honey, you wear a wig well, but you also wear your natural self even better. I was thrilled at the prospect of a chocolate skinned woman accepting an Oscar as her whole and complete natural self. Please don’t ever stop that.
And while you didn’t win, I believe being nominated in a category with Meryl and Glen is an overwhelming indication of the league you are in. I hope you are incredibly proud.
In fact, I know you are and I love you for your honesty. A new friend sent me this video of you on Tavis Smiley, speaking some real truths:
So, I love you for honestly declaring that you’re doing your best – as far as Hollywood will let you go. And while some are hard on you for playing a maid, please know that others are thanking you and Octavia for blazing the trail. You give us beauty within your craft of acting, but you also give us hope that one day a black woman will be accepting an Oscar for playing a “white” role. That kind of hope is invaluable.
So, Viola – just know I support you, girl, and your every fucking move. And I apologize for the cursing but I wanted to be clear that my support is impassioned.
With so much love,
Maiah Alyse Johnson