Cicely Tyson

Women of Color Are:

Accomplished:

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Multi- Talented


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Graceful:

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Colorful:


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Funny: 

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Elegant

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Artistic: 

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Humble:


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Compelling:

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Dedicated:


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Courageous  

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Powerful

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Fabulous: 

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PASSIONATE

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Yet Sadly…..

Overlooked 

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WOMEN OF COLOR ARE VALID, HUMAN, AND FUCKING AWESOME

A movie about Viola Davis because her life deserves to be known

The only picture I have of my childhood is the picture of me in kindergarten, I have this expression on my face — it’s not a smile, it’s not a frown. I swear to you, that’s the girl who wakes up in the morning and who looks around her house and her life saying, ‘I cannot believe how God has blessed me.’ “ 

“I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry, I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.” 

“I was the kind of poor where I knew right away I had less than everyone around me. We had nothing, I cannot believe my life, I just can’t, I’m so blessed. I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry, I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.”

“It became a motivation as opposed to something else — the thing about poverty is that it starts affecting your mind and your spirit because people don’t see you, I chose from a very young age that I didn’t want that for my life. And it very much has helped me appreciate and value the things that are in my life now because I never had it. A yard, a house, great plumbing, a full refrigerator, things that people take for granted, I don’t.”

I first envisioned myself as an actor after I watched Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman when I was a child.”

“It wasn’t until then that I had a visual manifestation of the target I wanted to hit, It also gave me hope for the future and a different life for myself, she helped me have a very specific drive of how I was going to crawl, walk, run from that environment.”

“I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” 

8

Every day you’re not dead in the ground, when you wake up in the morning, you’re gonna have to make some decisions. Got to ask yourself this question: “Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?” You hear me? “Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today? You hear me today?” All right? As for your mama, she didn’t pick her life. It picked her. But you, you’re gonna do something big with yours. You wait and see. The Help (2011)

2

A few Black actresses from 1900s-1980s. Some have shaken the foundation of Old Hollywood, and others have carved out a place in contemporary films. 

I never felt the chance to rise above the role of a maid in Hollywood movies. My color was against me. The fact that I was not ‘hot’ stamped me as either an uppity 'Negress’ or relegated me to the eternal role of stooge or servant. I can sing but so can hundreds of other girls. My ambitions are to be an actress. Hollywood had no parts for me.” Theresa Harris +

“You cannot leave this show! Do you not understand what you are doing?! You are the first non-stereotypical role in television! Of intelligence, and of a woman and a woman of color?! That you are playing a role that is not about your color! That this role could be played by anyone? This is not a black role. This is not a female role! A blue eyed blond or a pointed ear green person could take this role!”. MLK to Nichelle Nichols, who was planning on leaving Star Trek +

“I have never tried to pass for white and never had any desire. I am proud of my race. In Imitation of Life. I was showing how a girl might feel under the circumstances but I am not showing how I felt. I was slightly uncomfortable while making the scene where I stood before the mirror asking, “Am I not white?” No person who strives to be the least bit intelligent should allow a thing like color, something for which none of us is responsible, to mar his life or influence his judgment.” Fredi Washington +

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When I first started out, I said, “I want to be a serious actress. Like Cicely Tyson in ‘Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’. It’s not about awards, I don’t want none of that, I want people to throw roses at me on stage.” And then I look back at my high school photo, and my ambition underneath, and what does it say? It says, “I just want to be rich and famous.”