Senator Kevin Parker Remembers the Award-Winning Actress and Civil Rights Icon Ruby Dee

(Brooklyn, NY) - “Today, America lost Ruby Dee, an award-winning actress and icon of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Senator Kevin Parker. “Ruby Dee died at the age of 91, after a life spent as a star of stage and screen, and as a civil rights activist with her husband the late Ossie Davis, with whom she shared the duty of Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at the 1963 March on Washington.”

From the beginning of her acting career in the 1940s, Ruby Dee linked her stardom to her life as an advocate. The fame she received from her important roles in “The Jackie Robinson Story,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Do the Right Thing,” among other classic movies, allowed her to champion African-American womanhood, human rights and civil rights.

Her many examples of powerful and commanding African-American women on stage, screen and TV echoed her powerful advocacy that stretched from friendships with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, to active memberships in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In a capstone to an exemplary life, in 2005 the National Civil Rights Museum gave Ruby Dee a Lifetime Achievement Award which followed her receipt of the National Medal of Arts together with her late husband.

In all of her roles, Ruby Dee embodied success and opportunity in a manner that paved the way for the successes of the many young African-American actors and filmmakers who followed her example.

“In the death of Ruby Dee, another great pillar of the African-American community has fallen. We are saddened by her loss, and the light of creativity shines slightly dimmer in our community after her passing,” continued the Senator.


About Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope.  He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, Founding Member of the New York Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.