COLUMBIA, S.C. (CNN/WCBD) – Viola Davis decided to celebrate her birthday this year by honoring where she comes from.
The celebrated Black actress posted on social media Tuesday about the place where she was born. Davis put up a photo of the now-dilapidated home in St. Matthews, South Carolina, on her verified Instagram account.
On her Instagram post of the home Davis said, “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.”
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.— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 11, 2020
“May you live long enough to know why you were born.”
-Cherokee Birth Blessing- pic.twitter.com/CatJK405BL
Davis previously discussed her upbringing in interviews throughout her career. The house is on the Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, S.C. where her grandfather worked as a sharecropper.
CNN interpreted the post to mean she purchased the property, but Davis clarified in a subsequent comment on Instagram that she owned “her story.”
“Uhh….contrary to websites….I do not ‘own’ above house,” Davis wrote in reference to the photo. “I ‘own’ my STORY!! Too abstract I guess.”
Davis’s caption also included a “Cherokee Birth Blessing,” which read “May you live long enough to know why you were born.”
In 2016 she talked to then editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly magazines, Jess Cagle, about her short time on her grandmother’s farm, which was a part of the Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews.Davis said she “wasn’t on it long, because I was the fifth child, and so we moved soon after I was born.””I mean, I went back to visit briefly but still not aware of the history,” she said. “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.”The star said that most of her uncles and cousins were also farmers because that was the only employment available to them.The bare bones house with no running water or indoor bathroom was special to Davis, she said, as she recounted how much love it contained.