December 19, 1924

“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.” Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson American award winning actress and former fashion model is born.

Cicely L. Tyson is an American award winning actress and former fashion model. In a career spanning more than seven decades, she has become known for her portrayal of strong Black women.

Cicely Tyson made her Broadway debut in Jolly’s Progress, paving the way for starring roles in Trumpets of the Lord, The Corn is Green and The Trip to Bountiful. Film and TV credits include Roots, The Help, Fried Green Tomatoes and Sounder, earning an Oscar nod. She won Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

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Thoughts on ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’ by Sophisticate In The Suburbs™

When I was thirteen my parents had me watch the Roots (1977) and Roots ‘The Next Generation’ miniseries. At the time I didn’t know Cicely Tyson or Maya Angelou, I just knew that the miniseries changed my life. The miniseries was what started my journey into not only appreciating but learning about other cultures.

My parents then introduced me to ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’. It was then I was introduced to Cicely Tyson. I cried at the end of the movie. Not just cried but sobbed. There are movies that you watch that will make you cry the first time you watch it but to this day, every time I watch I cry almost uncontrollably at the end. No other movie has ever affected me so much. It is a testament to the excellence of Cicely Tyson.

The movie may seem “slow” but the story and most importantly Cicely Tyson’s performance somewhere, somehow creeps inside of you and cuts out your heart with pain. At the end, I cry and always say out loud, if anyone touches that Woman [Miss Jane Pittman], I’ll reach into the screen and hurt whoever hurts her.

While talking about it to my Dad as an adult, he told me that the only time he saw my Grandfather cry was at the end of this movie. My Grandfather was a hard man. At times brutal from stories I heard, a hardworking middle class blue collar man whose attitude was a product of his generation.

Cicely Tyson is one of the greatest actresses to have ever lived to have touched and taught us who have every had the honor of watching acting performances. She disappears into each character and brings out the humanity in all of us with her talent.