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A Day of Remembrance

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

The Career of The Great Cicely Tyson

Today is the birthday of the late great Cicely Tyson, who was born on December 19, 1924, to immigrant parents from the West Indies. Her parents settled in Harlem, New York, in 1919. Tyson was born and raised in Harlem, which, during those times, was considered the mecca of black culture. This was the place where Tyson discovered her passion for the stage. She launched her career as a fashion model, and by 1951 she appeared in her first acting role on an NBC television series called Frontiers of Faith.

Tyson achieved fame in her role as Rebecca Morgan in the film Sounder in 1972. She was later nominated for both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her historical work in Sounder. Many would go on to argue that it was her best work. Tyson's role in the 1977 miniseries Roots, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Coretta Scott King in the 1978 miniseries King. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

During Tyson’s illustrious career, she received three Primetime Emmys, an Academy Honorary Award, a Tony Award, a Career Achievement Peabody Award, and a Television Hall of Fame Award. On January 28, 2021, Tyson passed away at the age of 96.

Though she is gone, she will be remembered...


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Lukumi ArlotaContributing Writer

Lukumi Arlota is a mental health advocate, black empowerment activist, public speaker, and business owner.

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