Cicely Tyson

Celebrities, Harlem

Remembering Cicely Tyson’s Harlem roots

By Dana Schulz, Fri, January 29, 2021

Cicely Tyson in 1973. Photo (cropped) from the Dutch National Archives via Wikimedia Commons

Groundbreaking actress Cicely Tyson passed away yesterday at the age of 96. As the New York Times writes in a beautiful obituary, her “vivid portrayals of strong African-American women shattered racial stereotypes in the dramatic arts of the 1970s, propelling her to stardom and fame as an exemplar for civil rights.” While we all look back at Ms. Tyson’s incredible life and legacy, we can also look back to her early life, which began in East Harlem. Raised in a fifth-floor railroad flat at 178 East 101st Street, Ms. Tyson helped found the Dance Theatre of Harlem and attended the¬†Abyssinian Baptist Church on West 138th Street for the past 20 years.

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