As we all know, February is the month where we celebrate Black History by sharing, discussing, and educating each other about our past and present influencers, inventors, and all amazing people in African American culture. There are a plethora of Black living legends in the entertainment business who’ve watched the world (and the entertainment industry) evolve into what we know today.
Cicely Tyson is one of the gems in African American entertainment with a legacy that will extend far past her lifetime and she has the accolades to prove it. Besides being the perfect example of the statement “Black Don’t Crack,” the 91 year-old New York native has been been nominated for one Academy Award, won two Primetime Emmys, won one Tony award, won one SAG award, won eight NAACP Image Awards, among countless other nominations and awards in recognition for being such a phenomenal actress.
To dig a little into her personal life, Ms. Tyson is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She also was married to Jazz legend Miles Davis from 1981-1988, the epitome of #RelationshipGoals at the time. The two ultimately divorced, and despite negative rumors about Davis, the actress still speaks highly of him. During an interview with Don Lemon, she spoke on their relationship by saying :
“You have two people who are so enriched, blessed by incredible talents. I thought he was. He thought I was. And what it takes to live from day to day with that. There are so many facets to a dual life that is completely alien to most people. There have been some of the most incredible moments afforded me through him…Every moment to me is a learning experience. Once I have experienced [the negative] and lived through it and reached another level of understanding of human beings, especially, particularly talented ones who don’t know themselves how rich they are, then I am the better for that experience.”
Ms. Tyson is an amazing embodiment #BlackGirlMagic, she puts her heart into every role she takes on and spreads positively throughout all of her interviews. Thank you, Cicely, for continuously being a pillar in the industry with your infinite knowledge and wisdom. May you forever be blessed.
Here are five iconic quotes from Cicely that exemplify her character and class.
- “I am not a quitter. I will fight until I drop. It is just a matter of having some faith in the fact that as long as you are able to draw breath in the universe, you have a chance.”
- “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch – what make you go beyond the norm.”
- “I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there’s nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.”
- “In my work, people say I’m strong. But I’m not aware of any of it. If I were conscious of it, that can only get in the way of future performances.”
- ”I don’t think it matters a bit, and I think it should be irrelevant to the audience that I’m black. They should be concerned with what’s going on on stage. If they’re concerned with the fact that I’m a black actress in the role, either they’re not dealing with the piece as a theatrical piece, or I’m not doing my job.”