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Louis Gossett Jr. shares a story about his great-grandmother


Louis Gossett Jr. shares a story about an inspiring woman in his life: his great-grandmother. Join us in celebrating the powerful, creative and innovative women in our lives. Inspiring Woman is a year-long online campaign based on themes central to Dr. Angelou’s life: artistic expression, academic success, active community engagement and acceptance of difference.

This is my great-grandmother, Bertha Ray. She was a slave, and the Bible started - she remembers the Bible being started and it didn't start until after the slaves were freed. So we have to do some crude arithmetic: that's me at 17, about to open up in my Broadway show called 'Take a Giant Step' in 1953.

and that's her at approximately the age of 115.

She was responsible for raising me and my cousins.

She was the matriarch of the family.