Cicely Tyson, Who Brought Grace And Gravitas To The Screen, Has Died At 96

In an interviewthat aired just last Sunday marking the publication of her memoir Just As I Am , Tyson told NPR's Michel Martin that as an actress, "I learned that I could speak through other people.

The part called for Tyson to be tender with her family, and to seethe when the town's white sheriff won't let her see her husband in jail.

Tyson once told NPR that it was also the movie which made her realize she needed to look for roles that reflected her experience as an African-American woman.

Tyson performed in shows with all-Black casts, alongside artists like her friends Maya Angelou and James Earl Jones.

Tyson was on magazine covers like Ebony and Ms. She married jazz star Miles Davis; photographers swooned over the famous couple.

It was a rare event for a television network to broadcast a feature film about the brutal struggles of African-Americans in prime time, especially from the point of view of African-Americans.

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