Ava DuVernay, Yara Shahidi, D-Nice, Viola Davis And More Mourn The Life Of TV/Film Icon Cicely Tyson

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As the news of today’s (Jan. 28th) passing of Cicely Tyson, the incredible acting icon of tv, film, and theatre, started to make its way through social media, celebrities of all status’ gave tribute to the 96-year-old legend.

Her reach within Black culture, and that of mainstream entertainment was far and wide for one who soared to award-winning levels over a 60-plus career span. With classic roles in films and television like Sounder, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and The Help, to East Side/West Side, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and Roots, Tyson shined with black gold soul.

Born in Harlem, NY in 1924, Tyson was one of three children to her West Indian parents. Taking her talents to the hilt of the times and beyond will be what her legacy can rest safely on. The overwhelming love that is being poured over her life can be found in the words and thoughts of those that follow below.

 

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This week, Tyson released her memoir, Just As I Am, where the actress reflects on her well-lived life—including her complicated marriage to jazz legend Miles Davis—and her decades-long career in television, film, and theatre.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, she spoke candidly about her views on death: “I’m not scared of death. I don’t know what it is. How could I be afraid of something I don’t know anything about? People say it is this and it is that. But they don’t know. They’ve not been there. I’ve not been there. I’m not in a hurry to go either! I take it a day at a time.”