Viola Davis spoke with conviction during her Women’s March speech Saturday in Los Angeles, saying the names of black women that have been victims of sexual assault.
“In 1877, America, put laws in place called the Jim Crow laws,” she said in her powerful speech. “It told us that we were less than and it came on the heels of the 13th amendment.”
“And like the originators, the Fannie Lou Hamers, the Recy Taylors… to the Tarana Burkes, to the first women to speak out, it cost them something,” she added. “Nothing and no one can be great without a cost. I am always introduced as an award-winning actor, but my testimony is one of poverty, of one being assaulted, seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. I know that every single day when I think of that, I know the trauma of those events are still with me today.”
She also reminded the thousands in attendance that they must speak up for #MeToo victims, as well as the voiceless who cannot necessarily speak for themselves.
“I am speaking today not just for the ‘Me Toos, because I was a ‘Me Too,’ but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence,” she said. “The women who are faceless. The women who don’t have the money and don’t have the constitution and who don’t have the confidence and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that is rooted in the shame of assault and rooted in the stigma of assault.”
She added: “I stand in solidarity with all women who raised their hands because I know that it was not easy…My hope for the future is that we never go back.”