Cicely Tyson To Receives The Presidential Medal Of Freedom (VIDEO)
It seems as though in his last year in office, President Obama is showing no signs of slowing down. He’s vowed to leave it all on the field and work right up until the very end. So far, he’s done that and more.
In the last two month in office, one of his final acts include honoring exceptional Americans with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is America’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
This year, the group of honorees comes from several segments of life, including sports and entertainment, science, philanthropy, technology and art.
Among the 21 Americans being honored this year, four are African American: Diana Ross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and the incomparable Cicely Tyson.
The White House press release explained why Ms. Tyson was chosen:
Cicely Tyson has performed on the stage, on television, and on the silver screen. She has won two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award. In 2013, she returned to the stage and was awarded the Tony Award for best leading actress. Tyson received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015.
Despite all of her achievements, Tyson’s career path wasn’t a smooth one. At times, she had trouble simply finding work. She flatly refused to do “blaxploitation” films, or to take parts solely for the paycheck, and was selective about the roles she chose. As she explained in a 1983 interview, “Unless a piece really said something, I had no interest in it. I have got to know that I have served some purpose here.”
More recently, Tyson appeared in The Help (2011) and in several Tyler Perry movies. And after a 30-year absence from Broadway, Tyson returned with a role in Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful. The actress traveled to Texas in an effort to better understand her part in the acclaimed production—dedication that paid off when her performance won Tyson the 2013 Tony Award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play.
Tyson is also fearless. When it comes to who she is a Black woman, she is unapologetic and giving. Here she tells…