Currently I’m reading Cicely Tyson’s memoir ” Just As I Am.” When I got home I sat and ran my fingers over the cover of the book. The front cover photo is so striking! The font, the colors beige and purple, very fitting. When I opened the book there was a photo of Cicely and her family in 1920’s, turn the page and there’s a photo of Cicely, taken by Lord Snowdon, husband to Princess Margaret. He captured her in a Bill Whitten masterpiece of a dress, one she wore to the New York premiere of Sounder in 1972. The forward is by actress Viola Davis.
Written on the inside of the jacket cover these words:
“Just as I am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, 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 a mother, a sister and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I a 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.”
When I removed the jacket sleeve there on the cover of the purple binder book was Cicely Tyson signature. The book is a masterpiece, just like Ms. Tyson.
Cicely Tyson is one of the most respected talents in American theater and film history. From her starring role on Broadway in The Blacks to the Emmy-nominated film A Lesson Before Dying, her work has garnered critical acclaim for more than sixty years. She has received two Emmys for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and won the Tony Award for Best Actress for The Trip to Bountiful. A capstone achievement came in 2018, when she became the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.
The book was written with Michelle Burford. Ms Burford is a Harvard-trained celebrity memoir collaborator, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and a founding editor of The Oprah Magazine.