Cicely Tyson Receives Honorary Oscar


Contributed by Anaya Ray 

Cicely Tyson is the first African American actress to receive an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the age of 93.

As reported by Essence, Tyler Perry, Quincy Jones, and Ava DuVernay had the honor of presenting Tyson with the honorary award.

Both DuVernay and Jones shed light on the impact of Tyson in the film industry.

“[She was] the seed for so many of us, the rose that we adore,” exclaimed DuVernay.

“Her work, grace, dignity, class, humility and profound professionalism firmly placed her on the pedestal of Hollywood royalty,” Jones added, “and now, at long last, I could not be more honored to say that tonight, Cicely Tyson receives her more than well-deserved Oscar.”


During her acceptance speech, Tyson recalled upon a memory of her mother, Frederica, while addressing the crowd.

“Mom, I know you didn’t want me to do this,” she said. “But I did and here it is. For the longest time, I wanted to hear something positive from her. When I did “Jane Pittman”…she said, ‘I am so proud of you.’ If I had not heard those words from her, none of this would make a difference to me.”

The actress has performed in several groundbreaking movies such as “Dairy of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” and “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”

Tyson received her first and only Oscar nomination in the 70s for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the movie “Sounder,” according to People Magazine. Now after 45 years, and a month before her 94th birthday, Tyson receives her well earned golden statuette.

WHUR Contributor

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