TheOrator.Press Salutes ~ A Beautiful Black Queen of The Silver Screeen ~ Miss Cicely Tyson
Sunrise December 19 1924 - Sunset January 28 2021
She Is One of The Best Actresses There Has Ever Been.
The Glamourus, Righteous, And Regal Silver Screen Rebel
Called To Heaven Aged 96 & Now A Divine, Eternal, Bright Light. She Leaves Behind A Legacy of Great Inspiration, After An Exemplary, Dedicated & Conscious Career In Hollywood. And Her Her Award Winning Body of Work Means She Will Always Be With Us
As A Young Teenager A Hairdresser Friend Asked If Cicely Would Appear In A Hair Show For Her, She Agreed And Subsequently Developed A Taste For Performin’. Her Hair Was To Become A Recurring Talking Point Throughout Her Career And Her Crowning Glory A Number of Times.
In 2016 Even When She Was 94 Years Old, Cicely Tyson Still Had Such A Happy, Lively, vibrant Spirit That She Still Managed To Look Like A Young School Girl Who Was ‘As Proud As Punch Whilst Being Rewarded ‘For Doing Something Good’. This Was When Receivin The Highest Civil Honour In The Land From The American President – The Medal of Freedom (For Her Contribution To Arts & American Culture) From President Barack Obama. Fellow Thespian Robert Redford Looks On (Paul Newman’s Co Star In The Movie Classic Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid). Given Her Commitment To Only Making Movies of Black Historical Substance It Is No Wonder She Is Beaming With Pride. The Award Vindicates Here Whole Acting Live And The Power of Having Principles. In That Sense Her And Sidney Poitier Were Very Similar.
She Received Many Civic Honours As Well As Actin’ Accolades & Awards. In 2018 She Received An Honory Oscar, From The Academy Awards, Who Politely, But Frankly Put, Appear To Have Have Been Somewhat Tardy In Failin’ To Bestow Her Much Earlier As Her Quality Body of Work Was So Supremely Stellar.
Cicely Tyson Engineered One of The Most Successful & Enduring Acting Careers In Hollywood. And She Built It On A Foundation of Principle, Sacrifice And Heritage. Her Parents Travelled To America From The Caribbean Island of Ben Nevis When She Was Very Young But Were Sadly Divorced By The Time She Was Eleven. She Was The Youngest of Three Children.
Her Mother Was Highly Religious And Said She’d Have To Leave If She Persued The Acting. So, With Characteristic Courage She Followed Her Heart & Left Home. They Did Not Reconcile Until Many Years Later When She Was An Established Actress. In The Meantime She Had A Daughter At 17, With Whom She Later Said She Had “A Delicate Relationship.” She Still Pushed Forward After Havin’ A Baby & Formed A Career That Was Progressive, Proud & Victorious, And Which Saw Her Remain Generous of Spirit And Glamourous Throughout.
Prior To Her 1972 Breakthrough Role In Sounder, She Worked As A Jobing Actress, Model, Social Worker, & Secretary For The Red Cross. Long Before Stars Used Digital Platforms As A Voice, Campaign or Promotional Tool Such As They Do Today, She Insisted On Using Her Work As An Actress Only For Authentic Story Tellin & Progression of The Black Community, Which She Cared About So Much.
Her Principles Meant She Would Sometimes Go A Really Long Time Between Jobs Because She Turned Down Certain Unpalatable Roles Which Were Not Constructive For Her People. Her Principles And Perseverance Paid off.
TheOrator.Press Magazine’s Top Twenty Spotlight Deliveries By Silver Screen Queen Cicely Tyson
- The Blacks (1961)
Prior To A Man Called Adam In 1966, And A Woman Called Moses In 1978, George C Scott, A Producer, Director, Actor & Great Philosopher, Saw Tyson On The Stage In The Contrversial Play ‘The Blacks’ In 1961.
Despite It’s Controversy It Was The Lonest Runnin, Straight Dramatic Play, Off Broadway In The 60s & Ran For 1,408 Performances.
It Was A Play Within A Play, Examining Racial Stereotypes & Prejudice. Tyson Acted Alongside Maya Angelou (Famous Esteemed Poet & Great Writer), James Earl Jones (The Great Actor With The Great Voice) & Louis Gossett Jr (The Drill Sargent In 1982’s Hit Movie An Officer & A Gentleman With Richard Gere).
2. East Side West Side (1962-63)
After ‘The Blacks’ George C Scott Subsequently Cast Her In His Own Equally Edgy Show ‘East Side West Side’, 1962-63. ‘East Side West Side’ Saw Her Act As A Secretary To Scott’s Role of Dedicated Social Worker Dealin With Hard Cases In Tough Neighbourhoods. She Appeared In 22 Episodes & The Show Received 8 Emmy Nominations. Despite This It Only Ran For One Season As Back Then ‘Advertisers Had Their Own Issues’ With Its ‘Edgy Issues’.
3. A Man Called Adam (1968)
Cicely Starred As Sammy Davis Jnr’s Love Interest In This 1966 Movie – A Man Called Adam. Sammy Davis Jnr Plays Adam Eden A Jazz Musician. A Young Frank Sinatra Played Jnr’s Musical Protégé. It Is A Searing Film Highlightin’ How The Beauty of Racial Harmony Is Imposed Upon By The Ugliness of Racist Police Brutality. The Film Displayed Cinematic Bravery With Cutting Edge Storytelling For Its Time. It Reflected The Fact That The Horrors of Police Brutality Were A Wretched Part of American Commonality Back Then And Blighted The Magical Social Circle of This Musical Trio. So Much So That It Devastatingly Impacted Adam’s Mental Health. It Was Courageous And Ahead of It’s Time.
4. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (1968)
Two Years After ‘A Man Called Adam’ She Appeared In The Gut Wrenchin, Explosive, Segregationist Deep South Movie Featurin Disability, Hostility, Racism & Suicide. ‘The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter’ Is Not For The Faint Hearted.
The Capacity For Wickedness From Old Time Racists Is Deeply Unsettlin’. Yet Cicely Shined Bright, And One Review Declared of Her “An Absolute Embodiment of The Slogan Black Is Beautiful” (Alan Arkin, Later In MASH & Sandra Locke, Later In The Outlaw Josey Wells Both Won Oscar Nominations For Their Roles In This Disturbin’ 1960s Movie).
5. Sounder (1972)
Her Breakthrough Role Came In The 1972 Movie Sounder, For Which She Was Oscar Nominated For Best Actress. She Played The Wife of A Man Excessively Punished (Les Miserables Jean Valjean Style) For Stealin A Piece of Meat. She Was Left To Tend The Crops & Raise The Kids Alone Waiting For Him To Come Back Home.
Her Revealation Regarding What One Caucasion Women Told Her After Seeing Sounder Highlights The Power & Importance of Diversity In Movies, And By Association The Media, And The Need For Progressive Change In These Areas.
Such Inhumanity Which Black People Have Long Since Been Subjected To By Many Caucasion People Has Real World Consequences.
She Has Proven That Conscious Movie Making Can Help Make Changes In Society.
The New York Times Wrote (Apparently Complimentary, But Also Very Sadly): “ She Passes All of Her Easy Beauty By, To Give Us, At Long Last, Some Sense of The Profound Beauty of Millions of Black Women.”
6. The Autograph of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)
Two Years After “Sounder” She Won Two Emmys & A BAFTA Nomination For Her Portrayal of Miss Jane Pittman (1974). This Remarkable Story Is About A Former Enslaved African American Woman, Who At The Age of 110, Lived To Personally Recall A Series of Lifetimes & Laws In The Slave-Owning Deep South of America.
7. “A Woman Named Moses” (1978) – And – [Harriet (2019)]
Fours Years After The Autobiography of Miss Jean Pittaman She Starred As Lead Actress In The 1978 Television Series “A Woman Named Moses” Which Tells The Story of Courageous Enslaved & Escaped African American Abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Tubman Miraculously Helped Her Fellow Enslaved People Escape Via The Underground Rail Road System To The American Free Towns In The North & Canada Abroad. Often Crossin Many Rivers, Wadin Through Many Waters & Fleein’ Many Killers In Order To Do So.
The Role Was Recently Reprised In The 2019 Film Simply Called “Harriet” Starring The Mighty Talented Cynthia Erivo. She Was Reportedly Hurt By Disquiet Over The Fact That As A British African Artist She Was Cast In An African American Role. But Arivo Was Confident She Could Do A Good Job.
As With Tyson, Erivo Received Critical Acclaim. Addin’ To Her Grammy, Emmy, & Tony Awards, She Also Received Two Oscar Nominations For Best Actress & Best Original Song. This Provided Vindication For The Rada (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) Alumnae.
8. Roots 1977 & 2017
Alex Hailey’s Grounbreaking Autobiographical Family Saga “Roots” Hit American TV Screens In January 1977 & Blew Audiences Away With It’s Searin’ Honesty, Graphic Account of Wicked Brutality, And Relateable Depiction of Universal Longin For Greater Humanity Than That Shown By The Perpetrators of Evil In The Economic System of Slave Masters And Enslavement.
Cicely Played The Enslaved Mother To The Central Enslaved Character ‘Kunta Kinte’. Again She Was Nominated For An Emmy.
“She Possessed A Nobility of Character & Carriage, That Could In Equal Turns, Enchant & Intimidate”Levar Burton – One of Tyson’s Co. Stars In Roots
The Series Was Revived Some Forty Years Later In 2017 & Shown On The Sky History Channel & The BBC. It Included Acting Pedigrees Such As Lawrance Fishburne (CSI) Jonathan Rhys Myers (The Tudors) & Rege Jean Page (Bridgerton)
The 1977 Series Roots Popularised An Interest In People Tracin’ Their Geneology
This Autobiographical Documentation of A Family History Should Be Included In The UK School Curriculum, Just As Stories of Jane Eyre, Dickens & Shakespearen Literature & Narratives Are Included In It. Such Literature Has Great Value In Buildin’ & Fortifyin’ Cultural Pride & Understandin’ A Nation’s History & Legacy. And In Turn A People’s Destiny.
The Theft & Kidnappin’ of Millions of Generations of Another Nation’s People Goes A Long Way To Understandin’ Why Hundreds of Years Later Those People Are Still In The Nation To Where They Were Stolen Away To & Where There Is A Need For Truth & Reconciliation To Be Made & Displayed. Not Only Must Redress Be Made But It Must Be Seen To Be Made. And It Must Be Real, Redeemptive, And Restorative (In As Much As That Is Possible).
Click Link Below For Actor Laurence Fishbourne’s Comments on “Roots”
9. King (1979)
In 1979 The TV Mini Series “King” Won 9 Emmy Awards, Including Best Lead Actress For Tyson In Recognition of For Her Part As Corretta King, The Wife of Dr. Martin Luther King.
10. The Marva Collins Story (1981)
Tyson Received Further Emmy Recognition, When She Was Nominated Again Two Years Later For Her 1981 Depiction of School Teacher Marva Collins Who Established Her Own Prepartory School To Help Under Privileged Black Children. Although She Did Not Win The Emmy This Time, She Did Win An NAACP Image Award (National Association For The Advancement of Coloured People)
11. The Women of Brewster Place (1989)
Cicely Appeared With An Ensemble Cast Which Included Robin Givens, Lynn Whitfield & Oprah Winfrey, Who’s Production Company Harpo Produced The Mini Series. It Was About A Group of Black New Yorkers Livin Around & About Each Other, Dealing With Various Different Social Situations From Educated & Affluent To Strugglin Single Mothers. After A Great Start Low Ratins Hastened Its Demise. But Maybe It’s Fortunes Would Be Different If It Were Revived, Given The Change In TV Programmin Since Last Year & Attempts To Be More Inclusive & Supportive As Part of Social Justice Reform
12. Fried Green Tomatoes (1992)
This Is A Gruesome Yet Touching Comedy Drama With A Busy Plot, BBQ, A Missing Abusive Husband And A Man of God Who Has To Decide If Honesty Really Is The Best Policy.
Let’s Just Say Sometimes It Can Be An Advantage To Be Overlooked & Underestimated. Cicely’s Character Sipsey Is A Little Lady With A Big’ Secret.
But Does She Get To Keep It?
13. The Oldest Livin Confederate (1994)
Her Supportin Role As A Family Slave In The House of A Confederate Veteran, In The Oldest Livin Confederate Won Her Another NAACP Image Award & Another Emmy Award For The Oldest Livin Confederate Widow Tells All, 1994
14. Sweet Justice (1994 – 95)
Tyson Played A Civil Rights Attorney Alongside Melissa Gilbert (“Half Pint” Laura Ingles From Little House On The Prairie, Now All Grown Up). Sadly Apparently It Was Only The Law That Was Civil As Reportedly The Ladies Were Not Learned Friends. The Ensemble Cast Also Included Greg Germman of Ally McBeal Fame.
Although The Show Only Ran From September 94 To April 95 Cicely Again Excelled At Actin The Part of A Strong Graceful Black Woman On The Right Side of Righteousness & Justice. So Much So That She Won Another Emmy As Well As A SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Award.
The Author of The Book ‘Black People In American Film & Television’ Wrote of Tyson;
“A Slender Strikin Figure; Slender & Intense With Near Perfect Bone Structure, Magnificent Smooth Skin, Dark Penetratin Eyes, & A Regal Air That Made Her Seem A Woman of Conventions & Commitment. Audiences Sensed Her Power & Range.
15. Mrs Scrooge (1997)
The 1997 Movie Mrs Scrooge Provides Festive Fun As This Miserly Old Lady Undergoes A Spiritual Transformation & Discovers Generosity Is Much More Rewarding. Cicely Tyson Was The First Ever Female Scrooge On Screen As Depicted In This Festive Movie Based On The Classic Tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ By Charles Dickens.
He Lived 07-02-1812 To 09-06-1870. Thus As A Writer He Was A Victorian, As He Lived Through Queen Victoria’s Reign, Which Was From 1837 Untill Her Death In 1901.
She Was Born May 24 1819 And Died January 22 1901. She Was Just 18 When She Came To The Throne. And She Was 82 When She Died. She Reigned At A Time When ColonialismAnd Empire Building Was At Its Height. At The Heart of That Was Slavery And International Theivery.
Dickens Reportedly Looked Down On The Indigenous Inhabitants of Britain’s Colonial Countries And Held The Racist View That Colonialisation Was Their Own Good (This View Convieniently Overlooked The Fact That Their Self-Appointed Masters Were Stealing All Their Resources. Including Humans Which They Brutalised And Enslaved. Ironically He Was Championed Around The World For Writing Novels About The Underprivileged And The Poor In Victorian England.
16. A Lesson Before Dying (1999)
Painful, Powerful, & Educational, A Lesson In The Very Real Dynamics of Black Self-Pride & Black Self-Loathin Sees The Characters In This Film Trying To Teach Another Black Victim of Social, Legal & Political Injustice, To Face His Wrongful Conviction With Pride As A Human, Rather Than Acquiesce With The Racist Animalistic Inhumanity His Indifferent Defence Lawyer Seeks To Put Before The Court In A Diabolical-Doomed-To-Fail Attempt At An Acquittal. His Teacher Is Self-Respect And Protection of The Soul Is A Very Young And Powerful Don Cheadle (Later To Be ‘The Oceans’ Franchise) Cicely Secured Another Emmy Nomination, Another NAACP Award & A Black Reel Award. And The Film Itself Won An Emmy For Outstandin TV Movie.
This Movie Which So Aptly Depicts Incessant Attempts To Steal & Deny Black Humanity Should Be Included In The UK School Curriculum, Just As Movie Stories of Jane Eyre, Dickens & Shakespeare & Other Dramatizations Are Included In It. Such Narrative Has Great Value In Building & Fortifying Cultural Pride & Understanding A Nation’s History & Legacy. And In Turn A People’s Destiny. The Theft & Kidnappin of Millions of Generations of Another Nations People Goes A Long Way To Understanding Why Hundreds of Years Later Those People Are Still In The Nation To Where They Were Stolen Away & Where There Is A Need For Truth & Reconciliation To Be Made & Displayed. Not Only Must Redress Be Made But It Must Be Seen To Be Made. And It Must Be Real, Redeemptive, And Restorative (In As Much As That Is Possible).
17. The Rosa Parks Story (2002)
The Rosa Parks Story 2002 Movie Saw Cicely Win Another NAACP Award & Black Reel Award For Her Supportin Role Alongside Angela Bassett, Who Actually Played The Role of Rosa Parks, Whilst Tyson Played Her Mother. Both Goddesses Powerfully Help Tell The Story of One of The Most Pivotal & Famous Events In Civil Rights History.
The Architect of the Capitol (The AOC) Comprises The Federal Agency & The Agency Involved In Preserving and Maintaining Historic Buildings, Monuments, Art And Inspirational Gardens On The US Capitol Campus. Their Remit Includes Dealin With The U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Which Is Considered A Fitting & Honourable Place For The Nation To Pay Final Tribute to Its most Eminent Citizens.” Such Government & Military Officials Are Said To “Lay In State” Whilst Private Citizens “Lay In Honour”.
In 2005 Little Rosa Parks, Who Took A Big Bold Step When “She Refused To Sit Down – And In So Doing Helped Her People Rise Up”, Was Given A State Funeral. And Now She “Lays In Honour.”
18. The Help (2011)
19. How To Get Away With Murder (2014 – 2019)
Again Cicely Starred In Another Groundbreaking TV Drama Series, When In Her 90s She Undertook Playing The Mother, Ophelia Harkness, of A University Law Lecturer, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), Who Hides A Searing Family Secret – And – In The Vicious Grip of Dementia Catostrophically Reveals It, With Dire Consequnces.
Professionally Law Lecturers Are At The Heart of This Dynamic Black Female Lead Drama Series, Which Packs A Prosecutorial Punch As Expected In A Decent Courtroom Drama And Features Regular Dutiful And Daring Defence Strategies. Privately Mother & Daughter Relationships And The Depths of A Mother’s Love Are Also Cinematically Investigated.
Cicely, Firmly Into Her 90s, Replayed A Recurring Motherly Role Throughout The Six Season Series. Which Gives The Old Adage ‘Mum Knows Best’ Dramatic New Meaning.
Viola Davis Reached Out To Cicely Especially After They Both Worked On The Oscar Winning ‘The Help’ Movie.
” You Made Me Feel Loved And Seen And Valued In A World Where There Is Still A Cloak Of Invisibility For Us Dark Chocolate Girls “How To Get Away With Murder Co-Star Viola Davis To Cicely Tyson
20. Cherish The Day 2020
This TV Drama Series Explores The Trevails of A Black Couple’s Relation And Is A TV First. Broadcast By The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) And Produced By New Producer On The Block Ava Du Vernay Who Is Working Magic With Black Cinematic Production, It First Aired In March 2020. In A Wonderful Example of Illiteration Cicely Tyson Plays Elderly But Fiesty Miss Luna Lee Langston.
Just As I Am
Just As I Am Is My Truth. It Is Me, Plain And Unvarnished, With The Glitter And Garland Set Aside. Here, I Am Indeed Cicely, The Actress Who Has Been Blessed To Grace The Stage And Screen For Six Decades. Yet I Am Also The Church Girl Who Once Rarely Spoke A Word. I Am The Teenager Who Sought Solace In The Verses Of The Old Hymn For Which This Book Is Named. I Am A Daughter And Mother, A Sister, And A Friend. I Am An Observer Of Human Nature And The Dreamer Of Audacious Dreams. I Am A Woman Who Has Hurt As Immeasurably As I Have Loved, A Child Of God Divinely Guided By His Hand. And Here In My Ninth Decade, I Am A Woman Who, At Long Last, Has Something Meaningful To Say.”
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