Category: Overcoming Adversity

Viola Davis

“I empower her to understand that she has to count it all as joy. Even her mistakes, her failures, her triumphs, what she looks like, all of it. That’s all a part of her loving herself, even if none of those things change. So I just tell her she’s worth it. Even if I am combing her hair, and she’s crying… she does not have to be a perfect little girl. There’s no such thing. It’s okay to be vulnerable, and there’s strength in vulnerability.” -People 

Viola Davis

“When I was a young scrappy girl growing up, I realized we were poor. But I was making my way through it. You either hope or you don’t. And it was hope and dreams that made me put my feet to the floor every morning and just approach every day with a sense of enthusiasm. It was my fight or flight that kicked in.” -People 

Viola Davis

“I always feel like I have to go back and heal that little girl who grew up in poverty, who was called names and ‘ugly’ all the time. Until someone told me, “Maybe you need to let the little girl heal you at 54. Maybe you need to allow the little girl to be excited at the 54-year-old she gets to become.” Because actually, she did pretty good. She was a survivor. She got out of it. And it makes me look at my past completely differently when I see that.” -People 

Taraji P. Henson

“Any negative can be turned into a positive. Growing up in the hood around Washington, D.C., I knew my surroundings weren’t going to define me. So I chose to focus on the bigger picture. When I got pregnant in college, I never saw it as a failure, though some did. I said, “Watch me prove them wrong.” And you know what? I carried my baby across that stage at graduation.”
                                                                   
Taraji P. Henson Oprah Magazine

Amy Schumer

” Being a child of an alcoholic father, and whatever my mom is, has made me incapable of believing that the people I love won’t leave me, or hurt me in a way that I didn’t think they were capable of. I have to fight against all of my impulses and warped instincts to accept any sort of love.”
Amy Schumer’s:  “The girl with the lower back tattoo.”

Queen Latifah

“‘You know what? It ain’t that serious.’ My business partner told me that when I was going through a tough time and dramatizing everything in my life. Hearing it zapped me back to reality and wiped my worries away. Now when things get too intense, I remember that I’m alive, I’m healthy and life goes on—it ain’t that serious.”
Oprah.com

Andrew Garfield

 “This means a great deal. Thank you so much. At a moment in time when maybe the most important thing we remember right now is the sanctity of the human spirit, it is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in Angels in America because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community. It is that spirit that says no to oppression, it is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion. It is a spirit that says we were all made perfectly, and we all belong. So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit. To protect that message for the right to live and love as we are created to… we are all sacred. Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked!
Andrew Garfield’s acceptance speech for winning Best Actor Tony Award, 2018