To thine own self be true. Do that, and you’ll have no regrets.
-Cicely Tyson, in her January 11, 2021 interview with David Marchese for New York Times magazine
There is no doubt that Cicely Tyson will be missed, not just for her skills as an actor but also for the amazing human being that she was. The prolific Tony and Emmy award-winning actress passed away on 28th January 2021 at 96 years of age. The announcement was made by her longtime manager Larry Thompson who said that Miss Cicely Tyson had a peaceful transition on Thursday afternoon and requested privacy for her family to grieve her passing.
Mr. Thompson did not reveal the exact details regarding why or what Cicely Tyson died. As of yet, there is no confirmation regarding what caused CicelyTuson’s demise.
Condolences poured in from many personalities on Twitter including Michelle Obama, Zendaya, Tracie Thoms, and more personalities as they expressed their grief at the loss of this amazing person.
What struck me every time I spent time with Cicely Tyson was not necessarily her star power—though that was evident enough—it was her humanity. Just by walking into a room, she had this way of elevating everyone around her. pic.twitter.com/o6VAV63wqd
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 29, 2021
This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power. pic.twitter.com/vwchWT5512
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2021
Cicely Tyson was a lady who was well ahead of her time and her illustrious 65-year acting career is a tremendous tribute to this fact. She won two Emmys for her role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). Cicely Tyson was staunchly against stereotyping Black women which is why she refused to play the roles of drug addicts, maids, or prostitutes. She also never retired from her profession, even at the age of 88 she found the role of Mrs. Carrie Watts in the Broadway revival of Horton Foot’s The Trip to Bountiful. Age was never an impediment for her, in fact, her resolve only grew stronger with age.
In 2016, when she was being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, President Barack Obama said that Cicely Tyson has not only succeeded as an actor but had shaped the whole course of history. Indeed that is true, after all, she was more than an actress, she was a trailblazer and an activist, someone who used her platform to bring about positive change. She changed archaic perceptions of an entire generation to create opportunities for a younger generation of Black women. Indeed Cicely Tyson was the harbinger of change we didn’t know we needed but are most grateful for anyway.