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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

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A look back at Ruby Dee

There’s a saying that you die twice.

That’s once at the end of your life and again when your name is spoken for the final time.

Actress and activist Ruby Dee passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 91, but her memory lives on.

Dee is well known for her role in “A Raisin in the Sun.” But you might recognize her as the lively mother in “American Gangster,” a role which earned Dee an Oscar nomination, despite only having 10 minutes of screen time.

Dee also appeared in many other popular films during her seven-decade career, but the impact that she left on this world goes beyond her acting abilities.

Dee and her husband were heavily involved in the civil rights movement and befriended  both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

She and her husband were involved in Dr. King’s March on Washington. It’s thanks to the efforts and bravery of people like Dee that the civil rights movement was a success.

While we might not completely understand what Dee went through during her fight against racism, we can relate her struggles to the current civil rights movement.

Now, in the year 2014, the fight for equality has switched focus from race to gender, with gay rights and feminism as the big ideas.

Today’s actors and actresses are taking a cue from Ruby Dee by standing up for the equality they believe every person should have. 

Ruby Dee led a life of conviction to stand up for people’s rights and to fight against inequality. That is why it’s important for us to keep her memory living on.

After all, someday it will be people of our generation in her place, being remembered for our battle for equality.

syrafter@indiana.edu

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