Cicely Tyson has joined the ranks of ancestors that gloried on. But her memory and sold out memoir will continue. Tyson released her bio entitled “Just As I Am” two days before her passing. In what now seems like an official goodbye and a beautiful parting gift. The prolific actress was 96 years old at her expiration and pioneered for generations of young thespians to come. Her careers wingspan expanded more than 60 years and reached Black women everywhere. Some of her breakout films were “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “The Comedians,” and “A Man Called Adam.“ She was courageously known for rejecting “blaxploitation” roles in the 60’s. But returned to the stage after that era to star in Sounder (1972) in a performance that would garner the luminary a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Despite her wonderous accomplishments on film some of her most notable roles were affiliated with television. Whether she was playing in “Roots,” “A Woman Called Moses” “King: The Martin Luther King Story” or “The Blacks” Ms. Tyson was determined to make her adaptation to tv just as moving as on the big screen. The trail clearer and blazer would later receive 16 Emmy nominations during her career and would manifest a win in 1994 for the “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.“
The diverse actress and child of immigrant parents was also well known on Broadway. Some of her live work included the reinvention of the musical “The Dark of the Moon,“ “Talent 59” and “Jolly’s Progress.“
The prolific actress received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2015, Tony Awards in 2013 and had the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed to her by former President Barack Obama. Obama penned a touching tribute at the news of her death.
“When Cicely Tyson was born, doctors predicted she wouldn’t make it three months because of a heart murmur in her heart. What they didn’t know, what they couldn’t know, was that Cicely had a heart unlike any other.” The former commander in chief continued “The kind that would not only beat for 96 more years but leave a mark on the world that few could match. At a time when parts for actors who looked like her weren’t easy to come by, she refused to take on roles that reduced Black women to their gender or race. Sometimes, that meant she would go years without work. But she took pride in knowing that whenever her face was on camera she would be playing a character who was a human being flawed but resilient: perfect not despite but because of their imperfections.“
Michelle Obama called the late legend “the personification of beauty, grace, wisdom and strength.”
Tyler Perry celebrated Tyson with a heartwarming video that shined light on some of her diverse yet dignified performances while calling her “the grandmother” he “never knew.”
Tyson was a philanthropic changemaker and barrier breaker who’s quotes were just as empowering as her art and her final piece of it was her luxuriant bio which is now sold out on Amazon.
The moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way you have to know how great you are. Nobody would bother to beat you down if you weren’t a threat.-Cicely Tyson
BY: BEWITTY Staff