No other screen persona served the general public more as a constant reminder of the stubborn, healthy and diverse black literary world which defied sentencing to invisibility and dismissal as just a trend. Cicely Tyson achieved this while diversifying in roles by other writers from all backgrounds, regions and genres… Please enjoy and share this catalog of Ms. Tyson’s greatest roles drawn from great, classic American literature I hope you seek out soon.
I thought, by now, these recent cover shots like Lorna Simpson's construction with Rihanna for ESSENCE or Regina King and Viola Davis's old Hollywood glamour shots would just be the norms for black women. VOGUE has reminded me to never get comfortable. Hope, always. But never be surprised...
I'm blessed to be a woman in these times when so many women before me have resisted to overturn age discrimination and racist beauty standards that left so many of us out of range.
On days like this, meaning a notable artist like Zora Neale Hurston's birthday, the custom is to suggest enjoying his or her work and to "support" others like them in their names. However, something tells me this is not what Zora would want. I think most writers take their birthdays off for things like cake, people, wine and gluttony over discipline. So today Zora wants us to party in her name. And for you to write your own novel, put elbow grease on your big dream and take her as example somebody somewhere will love your work someday.
Unlike Zora Neale Hurston, Eric Jerome Dickey worked for prosperity instead of obscurity; he will have the appropriate African-American grand homegoing traditions, including a headstone visible from afar. This respect and appreciation for the most tireless Black writers during their human lifetimes is what America owed Zora, her predecessors and her peers. Now, he joins her as an ancestor looking down.
These traditions go on to honor those heroic Black Americans and keep their same spirit of drive, ambition and making do until freedom and prosperity.