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Cicely Tyson takes a bow at 96


The all-time award winning actress Cicely Tyson, the renowned theater, film and television veteran is dead.

“Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.” her manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement.

She was previously a fashion model, and was famous for competently interpreting her roles as strong African American females in various capacities she was given, showing different sides to African American women. This legendary career spanned seven decades.

Tyson was the recipient of three Primetime Emmy Awards, four Black Reel Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Tony Award, an honorary Academy Award, and a Peabody Award.

Some of her movies which she was known for and TV shows showcasing various roles by Black women include “Sounder” (1972), “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974), “Roots” (1977), “The Marva Collins Story” (1981), “The Women of Brewster Place” (1989), and “The Help” (2011).

In 2005, Tyson was honored at Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball. She has also been honored by the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women.

“Cicely wasn’t exactly destined for Hollywood. When she was a child, her mother, a hardworking and religious woman who cleaned houses, didn’t even let her go to the movies, but once Cicely got her education, she made a conscious decision not just to say her lines but to speak her truth” Barack Obama stated.

Until her death, she lived a life of impact and purpose. Just on Tuesday, she shared with the world the anecdote of her extensive career in her first memoir, ‘Just As I Am,’

Following the title of her memoir ‘Just As I Am’, I remember the popular hymn ‘Just As I am’ originally written by Charlotte Elliott, the first stanza says:

Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come! I come.

I see her through the third and fourth line, I picture her in my mind’s eye, adorned in a flowing white gown and her beautiful smile that captures our hearts, swirling round and round as the gown closely follows her movement, making even the angels jealous as she enjoys the moment.

I hear her reciting the hymn in a theatrical performance, line by line, I see her face brighten up as she gets to the part that explains her throbbing exit, I hear her…I hear her saying ‘…And that thou bid’st Cicely come to Thee O Lamb of God I come…I come’.

Gone, but lived a fulfilled life of 96 years of grace, hard work and undeniable results.

A legend has gone home! Rest on Cicely, you lived well!



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