Hollywood icon Cicely Tyson died yesterday at 96 and tributes about her are being shared by so many artists today who benefited from her work and her grace. I was offline when the news broke but when I picked up my phone a couple of hours later last night, most of my texts from people were about how … she just released a new book, Just As I Am, TWO DAYS AGO! To the very end, she was communicating and sharing, and LIVING. That is the example she set to the very end – and the model she knew she represented to so many, like Viola Davis: 


And Michelle Obama:

And Ava DuVernay:


All of the aforementioned women, of course, are leaders and activitists who in turn have become what Cicely Tyson was to them, fighting for stories about Black people, about Black women, all of them thriving in their respective fields, a beacon of joy and celebration, the ultimate form of resistance. Seeing that it’s award season, one of my favourite award season photos of all time is this one, shared by Kyle Buchanan in 2018, at the Governors Awards, when Cicely became the first Black woman to receive an honourary Oscar:


Cicely’s passing is a tremendous loss. But, at the same time, what she left behind is a major victory – this, after all, is the meaning of legacy. Cicely has departed to another place and just as another Black leader is rising. Amanda Gorman last week urged people to “be the light”, and she is a new bright light on the scene. This is what she shared on Twitter: