Written by @PresidentElla
Viola Davis is a decorated and respect actress, and she’s from the same dirt as me. Central Falls, Rhode Island is the prettiest, grittiest city in the state and I have always been proud to be from there. We stand tall like our landmark, the Jenks Park Tower, but sometimes get caught up in the dust… like the crackheads and pill poppers who call the same tower home after sundown. Viola graduate Rhode Island college and left the state the year I was born… God works in mysterious ways. I’ve been gone from my city for 6 years now, but it still tugs at my heart and I am ever so grateful that it still hugs at hers. Viola Davis has done wonders for Central Falls: She kept the one public library we have from closing, as well as one of the charter schools and somehow she’s working with expansion of the Health Center. I heard she helped get the kids laptops and while I can’t confirm that, I can confirm that she deserves having a street named after her. That health center is the reason I don’t know how to fill out health insurance paperwork. Blackstone Valley medical took care of me, and one dayI hope to take care of them… like my most recent inspiration, the lovely Viola Davis.
But money is not the grandest thing Viola Davis has brought to my little city: it is existence. Have you ever heard of Central Falls (before this article? Before Viola?) Imagine being from a place no one has heard of. No one respects it. Its like it doesn’t exist, and for that reason we fight hard. As a youth “in abject poverty and dysfunction” I enjoyed the fear it struck in the hearts of neighboring cities when we mention Central Falls. I transferred to a private school for high school, but at heart was always a CF warrior; I know to root for the home team. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to be proud of. Now, I can point to someone and say, I’m from where she’s from. I can make it because she made it. Before Viola Davis , the only people I’ve know to make it “out” of Central Falls are my big sister who lives in Jersey and would never move back… and Carlene Fonseca, Central Falls councilwoman. This councilwoman just so happens to be the little sister of my middle school friend, and also my friend (I’m a little sister, so I always get along with the little sis). I remember practicing for middle school talent shows in Carlene’s living room and now I get to see her seated in city hall. Not only did she graduate from Georgetown University, but while she’s been in office, I’ve seen flowers planted and salsa nights started. I don’t know if it’s her direct work… but I know she’s from Central Falls and that makes me so proud. And I think I know the Mayor… or I might have just known his friends… but hopefully he doesn’t remember me and I’m not telling any stories lol. At any rate. MIND BLOWN.
Selfishly, I like that Viola is brown-skinned (*folds arms*). Central Falls is over 50% white and almost 50% hispanic. I have to stop and say that Central Falls is also a great hiding place for immigrant (my mother having been one of them) so the statistics are very fucked up on paper. There’s a lot of Cape Verdeans, to begin with — they come in all types of shades; Carlene Fonseca‘s family is from Cape Verde. But there aren’t a ton of brown girls like me or Viola… most of them live in Providence, Rhode Island and even so… they are not Viola and that is not my city. It’s so important for children to be able to see the possibilities of their lives. I’ve walked my life through this haze of impossibilities. I’ve felt like I’ve had to break ceiling after ceiling of people telling me I can’t and my own proof of possibility being my own strength and drive… I’m alone so often in the world and while I can do it, I don’t want to. So, you see… Viola Davis means the world to me because she inspires me to mean the world to other little CF girls… or little girls in a corner somewhere no one knows of. Baby girl, you can be whatever and who ever you want o be.. and don’t lie anybody tell you any different because you might be the first… and if your not, well.. the road just got a little clearer.
You all know I need my street named after me, too, right? Lol… but I’ve never been a joke.
Long Live CF ❤ Stay strong.