Juliet, Tyson, Cecily Tyson discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio

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In her new memoir. Just as i am the great cecily tyson reflects on what she learned in her ninety. Six years she writes relish the ride and the groundbreaking black actress live that mantra until the very end. Miss tyson died just two days after her book was published. Cecily tyson embodied the lives of others on screen and more than one hundred film tv and stage roles from driven schoolteacher to a one hundred and ten year old former slave. She very deliberately chose to play remarkable resilient women including coretta scott king and harriet tubman in nineteen seventy-two two on the cbc's k. Livingston show miss. Tyson talked about her breakout role in sounder. A film in which she played the dignified wife of louisiana sharecropper she said it was a role she felt proud to take on after years of reading screenplays. The turned her stomach. We have to get ourselves in a position where we can be selective about what we do you know at this point. Fifty one percent of the movie going industry black three years ago. The movie industry was dying. You know wondering how. I mean if you notice all the big studios closing down their merging and closing them and black films have literally saved the movie industry. This is my third film. it's been four years. Since i did one and i was beginning to think i would never do. Another film because I just haven't been able to do the types of films that have been done in the past few years when i read a script. Either my skin tingles on my stomach. Churns and my stomach churning a lot That's how i described that. I know that actors have to work and it's very difficult to turn down a role you have to feed a family or you know. Pay your rent. It's been very difficult for me because I i have been selected but there are certain things that i just cannot do and i am not putting them down completely nor am i putting down those blaxploitation films completely because i tell you they served a purpose. They allowed us to get our foot in the door. I mean the medium of film is an educational medium and it's supposed to depict a life as it is what we need now are positive images for our children So that their lives will be something. I mean we've gotten past worrying about being black. You know we we've gotten past are kinky hair you know and And now the energies that we used to use to use to just just just function as a human being in this world. You know because you're black. You're different because your hair is kinky. It's bad it's and you know we've just gotten over that now. For god's sakes give youth some more positive images to channel their energies toward you know so that the citizens of tomorrow can be president of the united states. Do you know what i mean. I feel very strongly about that. And and you know. I know their arguments pro and con. I mean their arguments by by people who say it does exist. We know that that it does exist. It did not only exist in our race. It exists in the white race to but you know they have They have the godfather and they have james bond but they also have love story and they have the immigrants and they have romeo and juliet and they have all of those others. you know. it's not just all income really you know. And that's my fight. Let's balance the scale a little bit and give us a choice you know. Don't say this is all they want. Give us a choice and let us make our own decisions. Cecily tyson speaking with former c. K. livingston in nineteen seventy-two. Miss tyson died yesterday at the age of ninety six.

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