Just as I Am: A Memoir
“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only succeeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history.” –President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Honor ceremony
"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 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.” –Cicely Tyson
Just as I Am: A Memoir is a deeply personal and inspiring account of the life of Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Cicely Tyson. Published in 2021, this memoir offers a rare glimpse into the triumphs and challenges that shaped Tyson's remarkable journey. Through compelling storytelling and candid reflections, Tyson takes readers on a journey from her humble beginnings in Harlem to her rise as a trailblazing actress and cultural icon.
In Just as I Am, Tyson opens up about her early struggles, including her experience with poverty and racial discrimination. She candidly shares her experiences navigating the entertainment industry, where she faced countless obstacles as a Black woman. Despite these challenges, Tyson's determination and perseverance propelled her to achieve unprecedented success.
With grace and humility, Tyson reflects on her iconic roles in films and television shows such as Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and How to Get Away with Murder. She offers insightful perspectives on the importance of representation and the power of storytelling in shaping cultural narratives.
Beyond her illustrious career, Tyson shares intimate details about her personal life, including her marriages, friendships, and her journey toward self-acceptance. She delves into the complexities of fame and the toll it took on her emotional well-being. Tyson's honesty and vulnerability make Just as I Am a deeply moving and relatable read.
Just as I Am is a must-read for fans of Cicely Tyson, aspiring actors, and anyone interested in the intersection of race, gender, and culture in the entertainment industry. Tyson's memoir is a celebration of resilience, authenticity, and the transformative power of art. It is a powerful reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can all find the strength to embrace our true selves and live life on our own terms.