It’s why she’s the latest recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award thanks to her extensive work onstage, in films and on our small screens.
Winfrey, whose network OWN airs Cherish, was on hand to salute Tyson during the ceremony, which was filmed before the pandemic and racial protests.
“Cecily Tyson, throughout your incomparable career, you’ve chosen to bring to life women of hope, determination, grit and grace because that is who you are,” Winfrey says in a video, according to People. “Your integrity is impeccable.”
“So I thank you for not just paving the way for me and every other Black woman who dared to have a career in entertainment, but being the way,” she continued.
Davis, who plays Tyson’s onscreen daughter in How To Get Away With Murder, also honored the iconic actress, saying in the video : “You have made it possible for girls like me, even girls who are not girls of color, but especially Black girls, you’ve allowed us to be seen and you’ve allowed us to feel worthy.”
Tyson accepted the award with moving words sure to inspire any creative.
“I don’t know that I would cherish a better gift,” Tyson says. “This is the culmination of all those years of haves and have not.”
The history-making actress’ career spans seven decades, having appeared in more than 90 films and TV shows, including The Women of Brewster Place, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Fall From Grace.
Along with being nominated with an Oscar and Golden Globe for her work, Tyson made history in 2018 when she was the first Black woman to earn an honorary Oscar for her career.
Other award winners from the Peabody 30 will be revealed Wednesday.