Black News and News Makers in History: Cicely Tyson

African American news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Cicely Tyson this week in Black historyCicely Tyson, born December 19, 1933, in New York City's Harlem, the daughter of devoutly Christian immigrants from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine, she quickly rose to the top of the modeling world appearing on the covers of both "Vogue" and "Harper's Bazaar" at the age of 23.

In 1957, she began acting in Off-Broadway productions. Her first film was an uncredited role in "Carib Gold" in 1957, but she went on to do television - the celebrated series "East Side/West Side" and the long-running soap opera, "The Guiding Light".

In 1967, she appeared in "The Comedians", and the following year, had a featured role in "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter".

She had minor roles in a few feature films before her role, as Portia in the film version of Carson McCuller's "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" (1968). Because she was committed to presenting only positive images of Black women, Tyson did not have steady work in film and television.

Her next notable role was as Rebbecca Morgan in the popular and critically acclaimed film "Sounder" (1972) for which she will be named best actress by the National Society of Film Critics and receive an Academy Award nomination.

In 1974, she appeared in, perhaps her best-known role, that of the title character in the television drama, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" for which she will won two Emmys.

Later in her career, Tyson took on supporting roles in the television miniseries "Roots" (1977), "The Women of Brewster Place" (1989) and also in the film "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991). She had a starring role in "Hoodlum" (1997).

Honored by the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women, Tyson was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.

In 1994, she returned to television drama as a costar in the series "Equal Justice." Tyson's movie resume includes "Bustin' Loose" (1981), "Always Outnumbered", "Mama Flora's Family" (1998), "Aftershock: Earthquake in New York", "A Lesson Before Dying" (1999), "Jewel" (2001), and "The Rosa Parks Story" (2002).

Other movies include "King", in which she played Coretta Scott King, "The Marva Collins Story", "When No One Would Listen", and "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" (for which she won another Emmy).

In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman".  And in 2006, she was in "Idlewild".

Cicely Tyson co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

She was married in 1981 and divorced in 1988 from legendary trumpeter Miles Davis.

From www.anothershadeofcolor.com, http://www.mysticgames.com/famouspeople/CicelyTyson.htm.


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Black News and News Makers in History

4/17/1990: August Wilson, playwright, wins second Pulitzer Prize for drama with "The Piano Lesson."

4/18/1955: Bill Russell named Boston Celtics coach, first African American to coach established professional athletics team.

4/18/1976: Percy Julian, inventor of over 138 chemical patents & pioneer synthesizer of cortisone drugs, dies.

4/19/1947: Jackie Robinson becomes first African American major league baseball player.

4/19/1775: Minutemen, of both black and white ethnicity, fought British soldiers at Lexington, Concord, & Bunker Hill.

4/19/1887: Elijah J McCoy, inventor, patents lubricant attachment.

4/19/1892: Robert Coates, inventor, patents overboot for horses.

4/20/1853: Harriet Tubman, fugitive slave, freedom fighter & spy, starts Underground Railroad. Read More.

4/20/1899: Edward ("Duke") Kennedy Ellington, entertainer, born.

4/21/2003: Nina Simone, singer, dies in Paris France.

4/22/1596: First recorded slave revolt occurs in Stono, SC.

4/22/1970: Yale University students protest in support of Black Panthers.

4/22/1978: Bob Marley, singer, held famous "One Love" concert.

4/23/1856: Granville T. Woods, prolific inventor, born.

4/23/1872: Charlotte E. Ray becomes first female African American attorney. Read More.

4/23/1913: National Urban League founded.