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The January update of the American National Biography features five new essays, including actor, playwright, director, and civil rights activist Ossie Davis; New York magazine founder Clay Felker Schuette; and baseball players Bob Gibson, Joe Morgan, and Al Kaline.
Ossie Davis (1917-2005) used the arts as form of activism. As an actor he refused roles that demeaned African Americans. As a director he brought Black stories to the stage and screen. Davis and his wife Ruby Dee helped organize and were emcees of the 1963 March on Washington. Davis also gave the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X. His strong character portrayals and rich baritone voice made him a giant in entertainment, while he used his fame to uplift all African Americans.