Viola Davis does not mince words when it comes to discussing her difficult childhood — one that was filled with violence and racism so traumatizing, she wet the bed until she was 14.
The Oscar-winning actress took to the stage at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on Thursday, and told the audience of how she was subjected to violence at school and at home.
Born on a former slave plantation with no toilet or running water, Davis moved to Central Falls, R. I. with her family in 1965 where they were the only black family in town. Living in absolute poverty in an apartment infested with rats, Davis was constantly taunted by her classmates, who would throw sticks and bricks at her.
“The strongest memories I have of school up until 4th grade is constantly being called ‘nigger.’ ‘Black nigger.’ Third grade was just overwhelming,” says Davis. “As soon as the bell would ring, I’d stay in the front of the line so I could start running, because when I looked back I would see eight to nine boys who would pick up anything on the side of the road and yell, ‘you ugly black nigger.’”
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