I was so stunned when my friend texted that Cicely Tyson died yesterday. I know she was 96 years old, but her poise and presence made me believe she would live on forever.
Ms. Tyson was the epitome of greatness to me, so today, I must take a moment to honor her.
I had the wonderful opportunity to take my middle daughter to see Ms. Tyson on Broadway several years ago during one of our mommy-daughter trips. I remember being so giddy and excited about being able to see Ms. Tyson live on Broadway. I kept going on and on, hoping my daughter, who was a teenager at the time, would appreciate this blessing. Of course, just like any other teen, it was hard to gauge her emotions (other than the fact that I was driving her crazy with my excitement :-)). After the play, still giddy about the experience, I told my daughter that she just witnessed “GREATNESS”. When I looked at my daughter, I knew she understood and appreciated the opportunity to see Cicely Tyson live.
Last night I woke up (I am an insomniac) and began thinking about Ms. Tyson and, in the quiet of my room, cried crocodile tears. Ms. Tyson, unbeknownst to her, truly made me hold my head a little higher and work a little harder as a black woman. In my mind, Cicely Tyson led by example and set the bar high. In my mind, Ms. Tyson was a true icon.
I want to share her version of Ain’t I A Woman. Once you watch, you will understand why I nearly drove my children crazy watching this over and over.
What a remarkable woman Ms. Tyson was. I, as a black woman, am so grateful for the example that she provided, simply by living her life.