Viola Davis celebrated her birthday by proudly taking ownership of her early life story. The Academy Award-winning actress, who turned 55 on Tuesday, shared a photo of her birth home, which is situated on a former plantation in South Carolina.
“The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story,” Davis posted on Instagram. “Today on my 55th year of life… I own it… all of it.”
She also shared a “Cherokee Birth Blessing” that read, “May you live long enough to know why you were born.”
Fans were quick to assume that Davis had purchased the property located on Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina, but Davis later clarified in the comments that that was not the case.
“Uhh… contrary to websites… I do not ‘own’ above house, I ‘own’ my STORY!! Too abstract I quess,” she wrote in the comments.
Davis previously discussed the “horrific” history of the property where her grandfather was a sharecropper and opened up about her humble upbringing in a 2016 interview with Jess Cagle, the former editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly.
“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,” she said
“I wasn’t on it long, because I was the fifth child, and so we moved soon after I was born,” she told Cagle. “I mean, I went back to visit briefly but still not aware of the history. I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation which was horrific. One hundred and sixty 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.”
“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,” she continued.
Davis described having no running water or bathroom but emphasized that despite the “decimated environment” she loves hearing the story about her birth because there was joy. “It’s not always about things, you know.”