Tommy Davidson is sharing the heartbreaking story with TV One’s Uncensored of being abandoned by his birth mother and left to die in a pile of trash.
The standup comedian and actor opens up to the popular autobiographical series for a new episode on his life and career.
In a preview clip, Davidson reflects on being unwanted by his birth mother before he was adopted by a white civil rights activist.
“I actually was abandoned in the trash in 1966, in Mississippi, and she found me,” the comedian says about the woman who would eventually adopt him.
“She had gone down there with her husband to do some immunization and some voting drives during the civil rights movement,” he explains. “They were teachers at Colorado State. They went down there and they were working with my natural mother.”
[Watch the Video Below]
Davidson says the couple returned to Mississippi a year later and attempted to visit his birth mother, who had left her home and her baby behind. When his adoptive mom couldn’t find the family, she searched around the house.
“She saw a pile of trash outside of the house,” he said about his adoptive mother. “Something told her to look under this tire that was on top of the trash. When she moved the tire, she saw my foot. She uncovered the trash and there I was, starved. I had contusions on my skull. I was in a coma. I was 18 months [old].
Little Tommy spent the next two months in the hospital, before his adoptive mother was able to take him to Colorado and later to Washington, D.C.
Davidson up in D.C. as the youngest son of a white family. He tells Uncensored he experienced racism and bullying throughout his childhood, but found joy performing for his family as early as the age of four.
He booked his first job as a comedian at a strip club in 1986. The next year, he won a competition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Later, he would perform shows with Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Robert Townsend. In 1990, he became an original cast member of the groundbreaking sketch comedy series In Living Color.
Over the years, Davidson landed roles in television shows and films, including Strictly Business, Booty Call, Bamboozled, and Juwanna Mann. He also voiced the animated Oscar Proud on Disney’s The Proud Family. In January 2020, Davidson detailed his struggles with identity, addiction, and his climb to fame in his autobiography.
Now, the comedian is speaking out to Uncensored about the challenges he faced growing up.
The series is produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, James Seppelfrick and Paul Hall (Executive Producers), Jay Allen (Co-Executive Producer), and Nikki Byles (Producer) of Swirl Films.
Uncensored Tommy Davidson aired on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 10PM ET/PT.