Cecily Tyson Memoir As I Am Hits Shelves Two Days After Her DeathMarch 5, 2021
Many people are dying to read Cecily Tyson’s memoir, Just as I Am, which hit the shelves just two days after the 96-year-old icon’s death.
Naturally, Barnes and Nobles, Books a Million, and other sites are sold out and on backorder. Within minutes of Tyson’s death, the book had already secured the top spot on Amazon’s non-fiction best seller’s list.
Incidentally, the 2016 National Presidential Medal of Freedom winner unseated Barack Obama’s memoir, “A Promised Land.” The book spent 10 weeks at number one on the New York Times bestseller’s List.
For those who are unable to get the hardcover, book, you can get the audio version or the ebook narrated by Viola Davis.
Before her death, Tyson said that the memoir is a plain and unvarnished account of her life. Tyson describes herself as a mother, daughter, and an observer of dreams and human nature. She says she has experienced pretty much everything that any other person has experienced: love, hurt, pain, and God’s divinity.
“This memoir is my truth,” said the star.
Tyson has won a number of awards on both stage and screen including
The daughter of Nevis, West Indies immigrants, who settled in East Harlem, Tyson grew up in a devoutly religious Episcopal household. She was once an extremely shy child who finally found her voice through acting.
The well-received book covers a wide swath of subject matter including a lawsuit against Elizabeth Taylor, her stormy marriage to jazz musician Miles Davis, and other fun facts regarding her over six-decade screen career. The memoir also touches on her pregnancy in high school and doomed, brief marriage to the father of her daughter.
Although Tyson has always been regarded as one of the most talented actors in the business, she still dealt with misogyny, racism, stereotyping, and many other Hollywood hurdles.
Tyson also touches on her close relationship with Actor/producer Tyler Perry. Perry, so appalled by Tyson’s low pay for her roles in Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other roles, often padded her salary 2 to 3 fold when they worked together.
Tyson collaborated with Michelle Burford, who notably worked with Simone Biles, Tony Braxton, and Alicia Keys.
Critics give As I Am a thumbs up for its rawness, realness, and sometimes sad accounting of this revolutionary genius. As Ms. Tyson remarked, “after six decades, I finally have something worth saying.”