Cicely Tyson, Today I Honor You

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.

Much Love,

Tonza

Author: Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

4 thoughts

  1. Well said. My sentiments exactly. I deeply respected and revered this beautiful lady. She will be deeply missed.

  2. A true trailblazer, the epitome of grace and elegance. Opened a lot of doors and never through shade at anybody. She will be missed!

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