I like to put together a book anticipation list. It’s a list of compiled books I plan to read that are dropping in the future. Cicely Tyson’s, Just As I Am was at the top of that list this year. I knew the publish date, and when it finally came, I was E X C I T E D! Not just for the memoir but for the Press Junket that I knew would surround its release. The gems I knew that only she could give, having lived for a full 96 years. Two days after, I saw pictures of her circulating, and I thought to myself, Yesss!!! The press tour must have begun. Nothing could have prepared me for the captions that would follow.
The Legendary, Trailblazing, Pioneer Cicely Tyson gone at 96. The news sent shockwaves through my entire body and catapulted me into my emotions. How can this be? Her memoir just dropped! Although I knew she couldn’t live forever, I still believed. Ms. Tyson was the representation that mattered to little black girls around the world. It was because of her that they would dream of being on TV.
I am elated that God Sustained her to see 96 years around the sun. I am thankful to those who knew her worth and kept her working meaningful roles in her last years. The industry likes to put an expiration date on people, but you can’t place an expiration date on talent, wisdom, poise, or a proud Child of God. Her steadfast FAITH is what I know kept her working for more than seven decades!
Ms. Cicely Tyson, Thank You. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world! Even when those closest to you didn’t believe, you did, and out from that self-belief sprang a GREAT body of work. Your deliberate portrayals of STRONG black women will live on for little boys and girls to see. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was the first movie I watched to study your work, BRILLIANT. The way I sob every time your scene with Kimberly Elise comes on in Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I AM and WILL FOREVER BE in Awe of you!
Thank you for leaving us with a parting gift. I’m so glad we got to give you your flowers while you were alive. Will you read with me this month?