An Evening with Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee PBS TV-Show

Friday 10/18/2002

Arthur Rubloff Auditorium The Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This hour-long, one-on-one interview provides a candid glimpse into the lives of actors and “National Treasures” Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Taped on October 18, 2002 at The Art Institute of Chicago in front of a live audience, the couple was interviewed by activist and scholar Angela Davis.


Master of Ceremonies Micah Materre, WGN-TV morning news anchor, began the program speaking of the profound influence Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had on her life. Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee begin the interview describing their involvement in political and social campaigns. They then lovingly describe when they met, during the American Negro Theater’s production of Jeb, and getting married in New Jersey in 1948.

Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee then tell stories of their relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X as well as how they included their children in their political activism and they reflect on the connection between art and politics and offer ideas on how to encourage younger generations to work for positive change in the world. At the time of the taping, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had been married for more than fifty years. Not long after the taping, Ossie Davis passed away on February 4, 2005.  


The HistoryMakers staff has created a finding aid for this event. View/Download below: 

Finding Aid To An Evening With Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.pdf


Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee 

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee have been together for 56 years. Renown for their stage, film and television roles they made their film debut in 1950’s No Way Out. Amassing an impressive body of work together, including the film, Do The Right Thing and the PBS series, With Ossie and Ruby, they have modeled a positive creative relationship. Their activism, at the height of the civil rights movement and their dedication to teaching the lessons of black history and culture through their art, have earned our trust and respect. In 1995 they received the National Medal for the Arts from the White House. In 2000, they were presented the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award. They are inductees in the Theater Hall of Fame as well as the NAACP Hall of Fame.  



 Angela Davis  

Author, activist and educator Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 26, 1944. After high school, she studied in Germany before returning to earn a B.S. from Brandeis University in 1965. She returned to Europe, and then went on to study at the University of California, San Diego, for her M.A. She began teaching at UCSD in 1969, but was released a year later for her ties to the Communist Party. In 1970, she was arrested and charged with murder after some of her associates attempted a prison break. She was acquitted and returned to teaching in 1972. While with the Communist Party, Davis ran for vice president twice, but left the party with the fall of the Soviet Union. Today, Davis speaks internationally about injustice, especially in the prison system. She is the author of several books and is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 



Executive Producer 

Julieanna L. Richardson



David Thibodeaux




Peter Kimball



Honorary Co-Chairs 

        The Honorable John Conyers
        The Honorable Emil Jones, Jr.
                   John Rogers, Jr.



           Cheryl Blackwell Bryson
                   Barbara Burrell
              Alison & Susan Davis
          Martin & Patricia Koldyke


Benefit Committee Co-Chairs 

                     Mavis Laing
                  Sharon Morrow
                  Joleen Spencer


Benefit Committee

Samuel Akainyah  Linda Forbes-Jones
Patricia Andrews-Keenan Lee Koonce
Kate’y Assem Aly Kurti
David & Jacqueline Atkins Mercedes Laing
Ernie Banks Connie Lindsey
Raymond Barbosa Donna & Wilfred Lucas
Leslie Beller Cheryl Mayberry
Debbie Berman Lester McKeever
Nancy Berman Eric McKissack
Jerry Blakemore Donald & Gail Miller
Kimberly Bolden Linda Riley Mitchell
William Bonaparte Theodore Moran
Alfreda Bradley-Coar Linda Murrain
Veda Britt-Handy Debra Nelson
Payne & Priscilla Brown NJW Technology Solutions
Gwen & Charles Butler Cheryl Nolan
Judy Byrd  Phyllis North
Margaret Campbell  Alice Palmer
Iva Carruthers Julia Perkins
Adela Cepeda Anita Ponder
Hilton Clark Sabrina Poole
Walter Clark Ken Price
Haven Cockerham Quintin & Diane Primo
Barbara Cohen  Ruth Ratny
Michelle Collins Andre & Dana Rice
Carmen Corbett Socrates Rivers
Gary Crawford Janice Robinson
Elnora Daniel Belkis M. Santos, Ph.D.
Suzanne Daniel Chester Singleteary 
Risa Davis Kathy & Robert Slaughter
Kelly King Dibble Chuck Smith
Veranda & Jacoby Dickens Deirdre Joy Smith
Alma & Louis Dodd Linda Steele
Dillon Dolton Isabel Stewart
Murrell J. Higgins Duster Xcylur Stoakley
Celestine Fulchon Laurel Stradford
Sallie Gaines Curtis Symonds
Denise & Gary Gardner Deborah Thomas
Robert Graham Abe & Launa Thompson
Robin Hall Charles & Lisa Tribbett
Jocelyn Hamlar Sylvester Turner
Malcolm & Gloria Hemphill Roxanne Ward
George & Cheryl Haywood Allison Watson
Adele Hodge Wayne Watson
Reanetta Hunt Vernon Williams
Rodney Jackson Joset Wright
Eric & Pamela Johnson Andrea Zopp