Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only exceeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history.” –President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony “The art of acting is the art of exposing, an emotional unveiling before others. Ms. Tyson is as revelatory on these pages as she has been on the stage.” -Viola Davis, from the Foreword to Just As I Am At 96, Cicely Tyson is a dynamic and legendary actor, lecturer, activist and one of the most respected talents in American theater and film history. A Harlem native and daughter of immigrants who rose out of poverty and onto the global stage, she began her career as a fashion model, gracing the covers of Ebony and Jet, before transitioning to acting in 1955. Since then Tyson has built an extraordinary career in coveted roles depicting strong Black women outside of caricature or stereotype, and blazed a trail of firsts for them on the big screen and on TV. Now the Oscar, Tony, and three-time Emmy Award-winning actor travels from film and stage to page to bring the world an unprecedented peek into her closely guarded personal life and the grounding forces of family and faith that guide her still. In JUST AS I AM: A Memoir (HarperCollins; January 26, 2021; $28.99) Tyson tells her stunning story looking back at her life on and off screen. Written with #1 New York Times bestselling collaborator and Oprah Magazine founding editor, Michelle Burford, this extraordinarily compelling memoir is Tyson’s personal testimony about the nine-plus decades of experiences—some magnificent, others sorrowful, some on screen, many away from the public eye—that have given birth to the woman she is still becoming. “Just As I Am is my truth,” writes Tyson. “It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage for [more than] six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.” Cicely Tyson has been nominated for 40 television and film awards and has won 42, most notably an Oscar, a Tony Award, 3 Emmys, 8 NAACP Image Awards, the African American Film Critics Special Achievement Award, the BAFTA Film Award, the Black Film Critics Circle Award, 4 Black Reel Awards, the Elle Women in Hollywood Award, 3 Lifetime Achievement Awards, and many more. Ms. Tyson is the recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Medal. She was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2015 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2016. Most recently she was featured on the cover of Elle Magazine’s November 2017 issue, which went on to become one of their most popular and highest grossing issues. She was also on Time’s February 2019 issue. When interviewed for that issue she vowed she will never retire. In November 2019, Ms. Tyson was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. This cultural icon continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities in her efforts to enlighten the human race.
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