Ninety-five-year-old actress Cicely Tyson has lived a long, storied life—and she’s sharing it with fans in a new memoir, out next year.
HarperCollins announced Tuesday that Tyson’s memoir, Just As I Am, written in collaboration with Oprah Magazine founding editor Michelle Burford, will be released on January 26, 2021.
“At 95, I’m only beginning to fully understand my identity,” Tyson said in a statement. “The accolades, the lights, the glamour and glitter—they’re all just ornaments on a tree. It is only a tree’s roots, its origins beneath the soil, that can reveal its entire story.”
“Every one of my experiences on the public stage has been rooted in my upbringing, those years spent at my mother’s elbow and in the pews of my church. That was my world. And that foundation, that core, led me to a lifetime of growth—a wondrous journey that has made me who I am,” she continued.
The book will detail not only her friendships with iconic actors such as Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ossie and Ruby Davis, Richard Pryor and James Earl Jones, but will also shed light on her moments with other luminaries, including Maya Angelou, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Aretha Franklin and even Quincy Jones.
Just As I Am won’t skip over Tyson’s career as a dancer—and will even detail her decades-long deep friendship with ballet dancer Arthur Mitchell, with whom she co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem.
Tyson also opens up about her eight-year marriage to Miles Davis, along with her friendships with Whoopi Goldberg and Kerry Washington—and her frequent modern-day collaborators, such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, and Viola Davis.
We can’t wait to add Just As I Am to our bookshelves.