We Can't Get Enough Of This 6-Year-Old Girl Channeling Viola Davis

by Marie Holmes
viola davis impersonation
Credit: Kenya White/Instagram

We honestly think this little girl needs an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar too

Who’s the better actor? Viola Davis, with her wheelbarrow of awards and recognitions, or six-year-old Rosie White, who has stolen all of our hearts portraying Davis on her Instagram channel?

White, a powerhouse of a little girl, is attracting national attention for her informative and completely on-point videos showcasing the stories of inspiring Black performers, politicians, dancers, athletes, and inventors.

It all started with a supportive mom and White’s early affinity for acting and history.

When Kenya White’s daughter came home from preschool a few years ago with an informative printout about Rosa Parks, White dutifully read the information aloud to the then 3-year-old Rosie. Curious as to whether the little girl had absorbed anything, White asked her a couple of questions about Parks. Not only could Rosie answer them, but she could recite back most of what her mom had just read.

“I said, ‘Rosie, wait — hold that thought!” White tells Scary Mommy.

She ran to grab the closest thing to Rosa Parks’ clothing that she could find in Rosie’s size.

“I grabbed my camera phone and said, ‘Do it again!'”

It was the start of something both of them enjoy doing — and the start of their social media following.

“I’m a creative person and she loves to learn, so it’s a match made in heaven,” says White.

The dynamic mom-daughter duo have amassed thousands of followers on their Instagram account, go_rosie_grow, where they post inspiring videos about famous Black people they want to tell the world about. They’ve appeared on their local news station in Detroit and Good Morning America, spreading their message of Black joy and accomplishment.

Rosie has recorded videos as Stacy Abrams, Angela Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Kamala Harris, Tina Turner, and other icons, complete with costumes curated by mom, bars of song, and dance moves. They post videos year-round, not just during Black History Month, and are currently highlighting the stories of Black inventors, such as George Crum, inventor of the potato chip, Garret Morgan, inventor of the traffic light, and Marie Van Britton Brown, inventor of the first home security system.

When selecting stories to highlight, White says some are people who catch Rosie’s eye, like Viola Davis, who Rosie saw on television and said, “‘Wow, she’s really pretty, let’s do her,'” White remembers. Other picks are inspired by current events like track star Sha’Carri Richardson‘s disqualification from the Olympic Games.

Many of the folks Rosie has portrayed have taken note. Whoopi Goldberg sent her a box of books, including volumes by Goldberg herself and other inspiring stories. Laila Ali and Erykah Badu are now among Rosie’s Instagram followers.

Kenya has consciously chosen to keep the tone of the educational posts celebratory.

“When I was six years old I learned about he negativity of Black history,” including slavery, White remembers. When it came to her daughter’s videos, she says, “I didn’t want to teach her such darkness about Black history. Right now it’s all positivity.”

While the videos are currently attracting a lot of media attention, White and Rosie have been plugging away on the project for years, accumulating 265 Instagram posts to date.

“We’ve been sowing these videos for a while,” says White. “We’re reaping the seeds that we sowed.”

Next up for Rosie? Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, which White hopes he will announce in time for them to produce a video for Women’s History Month this March.