County and City officials will join members of the Dee-Davis family for the renaming of Library Green Park in honor of legendary actor and activist Ruby Dee on Saturday, October 10 at 3PM.
When legendary actor and activist Ruby Dee passed away on June 11, 2014 at the age of 91, the New Rochelle community was deeply saddened and sought a way to honor her memory and acknowledge her contributions to the City. Ruby Dee, nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress, for “American Gangster,” and her late husband, Ossie Davis, were committed to the New Rochelle community where they resided for over 50 years raising their three children, Nora, Hasna and Guy.
The Ruby Dee Commemorative Committee, chaired by Councilman Jared Rice, was convened and recommended that the park adjacent to the Library be renamed the Ruby Dee Park at the Library Green. The park, owned by Westchester County, received unanimous approval for renaming by the Board of Legislators in October 2014. The unveiling of the sign this coming weekend is significant, as the legendary actress and civil rights activist would have turned 93 on October 27.
The family remarked about the honor, “We are pleased and honored that the life and contributions of our beloved mother-grandmother-sister-aunt Ruby will be inscribed in the historical memory of New Rochelle—among the neighbors and friends she loved for more than 51 years. How fitting that the Ruby Dee Park is adjacent to the Ossie Davis Theater! Together forever.”
Members of the Ruby Dee Commemorative Committee included Dr. Hasna Muhammad, daughter of the late actress, her husband Wali Muhammad, Linda Tarrant-Reid, Michelle Sanchez-Boyce, Alvin Clayton, Rev. Dr. Allen Paul Weaver, Jr, Kathy Gilwit, and City Historian Barbara Davis.
Guy Davis, world-famous blues singer and son of Dee & Davis, will sing a tribute and family members will speak at the Saturday program, along with local and county officials. A reception, hosted by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, will follow in front of the Library located at 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, NY. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved inside to the Ossie Davis Theater.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.