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Life Lit by Some Large Vision: Selected Speeches and Writings by Ossie Davis.

* Life Lit by Some Large Vision: Selected Speeches and Writings by 0ssie Davis

With special editorial notes and a Foreword by Ruby Dee Atria Books, October 2006 $23.95, ISBN 0-743-28988-9

Here are 30 brilliant pieces of writing. Some are speeches given to special organizations that the late Ossie Davis cared about; some are eulogies for people he respected and loved; others are letters to clarify issues. Yet each piece of writing, from 1952 to 2004, was written by a brilliant and clear mind on a journey of self-evaluation and introspection; they are examples of one man's extraordinary wisdom and generosity. The great actress Ruby Dee, Ossie's widow, adds dimension and insight to each piece.

In her foreword, Dee cautions the reader that Ossie Davis did not marry her to sit home and darn socks; she also explains why she edited this book: to let the reader know she thought her late husband of 56 years to be a genius. If you read this book, you will agree with her assessment. Life Lit by Some Large Vision is a monumental contribution and defines Davis's enormous impact on American culture.

There is a tribute to Betty Shabazz (with Ruby Dee and their daughter Hasna Muhammad)" and then there are eulogies for Malcolm X, Louis Armstrong, Godfrey Cambridge and John Randolph, as well as an essay on the nature of revolution. These are but a few of the masterful pieces included in this slim treasure.

* for BIBR recommended titles

--Reviewed by Woodie King Jr.

Woodie King Jr. is the author of The Impact of Race: Theatre and Culture (Applause Books, 2004).
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:King, Woodie, Jr.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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