Still Together: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis in River Forest | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

Still Together: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis in River Forest 

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It took guts, in McCarthy-crazed 1953, to get up and publicly argue for clemency for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. Ruby Dee did it without hesitation, though it could have meant the end of her career. "I don't remember how I happened to be asked to speak [at a rally for the Rosenbergs]," she wrote in With Ossie & Ruby, the autobiography she and husband Ossie Davis published a few years ago. "I do know that I was tremendously moved by the fact that two small children might be left without their parents. Spies are executed in time of war. We were not at war. I was baffled. What was going on behind the headlines here?" Dee spoke against the death penalty, and the next day was fingered in Ed Sullivan's newspaper column as a "fellow traveler," or, as she says, a "pinko." Throughout the more than 50 years that she and Davis have been a team, their successes as actors, writers, and producers have been balanced by their political activism and strong family life, in "the Struggle" with everyone from Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King Jr. to Spike Lee. They'll share some of their many stories in In This Life Together, a performance based on their book, Saturday, January 26, at Dominican University. It starts at 8 in the Fine Arts Building, 7900 W. Division in River Forest. Tickets are $45. Call 708-524-6942.

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