"Upward Bound was a melting pot of races. What we shared besides all being desperately poor, was a passion to e the first generation in our families to get an education and be high achievers. We were Blacks, Whites, Cambodians, Laotians, Hmong, Vietnamese, Angolan, African Portuguese, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans."
Viola Davis in Finding Me.
Davis participated in the 6 week university bound program, Upward Bound, at 14.
Counsellor Ron Stetson changed her life.
Viola and her sister Deloris were chatting before a drama class about to them not being pretty.
Stetson overheard them.
"Wait! You both don't think you're pretty? Why?"
Davis said, "Ron, No one in Central Falls [Rhode Island[ thinks we're pretty. We've never had a boyfriend. We've never kissed anyone.
Most of the people in our town are white and they..."
Stetson's reply changed her life, "You both are fucking beautiful! I've always thought that. You don't see it?"
Davis explains her reaction.
"Adoration for girls validates your femininity. When you ae a dark-skin girl, no one simply adores you. They laugh with you, tell you their secrets, treat you like one of the boys...but there's no care given to you, no devotion given to you. The absence of that becomes an erasure." Viola Davis