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Publisher's Summary

“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only exceeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history.” (President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Honor ceremony)

"Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. Here, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.” (Cicely Tyson)

©2020 Cicely Tyson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Editor's Pick

A study in Black excellence
Icon Cicely Tyson graces us with her hard-won wisdom and indefatigable spirit in her autobiography, almost a century in the making. In Just as I Am, Tyson takes us on the journey of her lifetime, revisiting her youth and the work of honing her craft, forging a path as a legendary actress in a time rife with racism and limitations. Tyson shares her perspective on how she selected roles after coming face-to-face with deep racial divides while doing press for her Academy Award-nominated turn as Rebecca in Sounder in 1972. She took the position that “her art had to mirror the times and propel them forward.” It was her mission to choose parts with the intention “to change the way Black women were perceived, by reflecting our dignity.” And she did just that. Narrated by Viola Davis and Robin Miles, with the introduction provided by Tyson herself, their performances are elegant and illuminating. How lucky we are that this legend gave us a glimpse of her beautiful soul in this powerful account of a life so well lived. —Kelley S., Audible Editor

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What listeners say about Just as I Am

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Disappointed with the background noise

So disappointed in the audio signal it wasn't clear at all. I'm so mad I really want to hear this book. But background noise is very disturbing. Ugh please fix this issue asap.

107 people found this helpful

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A Legend and National Treasure

My childhood is filled with memories of Cicely Tyson creating memorable characters on the small screen. She was the embodiment of grace and excellence. I was well into adulthood before I realized that she was much younger than the 110 year old character she created in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She brought characters to life and made you believe! I watched what would become her last interview wherein she discussed this memoir. I chose this version so that I could hear her tell it in her own voice. RIP Miss Cicely Tyson. Thank you for sharing your gifts and enriching our world.

52 people found this helpful

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Know your value-Cicely Tyson

I recommend this book to everyone especially those who are students of their history. And those who wonder about Mrs.Tyson’s life. This audible allows you to hear her voice. Beautiful. She discusses her life journey from Civil rights to BLM. She helps to separate Religion from Spirituality. She discusses details of her marriage to Miles D. and her relationships with many, many other people. And shares her thoughts of two of her God-children. She discusses the importance of taking care of your body and shares her food and exercise regimen. Overall she shares how to have class (B classy) throughout all life struggles. She says, Learn who you are and your value. respect yourself and others. This book is RICH...

36 people found this helpful

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Beautifully Human; Great Narration

I'm so glad we got to hear a synopsis of the life of one of our national treasures before she departed this Earth.
Cicely Tyson has been a household name for 6 decades and has cemented herself into the fabric of the Black community. She was truly the last of a group of Black American Titans who paved the way for so many of us, in so many different areas.
Though she was born of my grandmother's generation, her life story was highly relatable. Her upbringing, the mistakes she endured through, the sacrifices she made to pursue her dreams, the disappointments of giving your all for men and love, and the resilience to push through in spite of were particularly encouraging.
I especially enjoyed hearing her reflect on her career, her interactions with other dignitaries and how she navigated the underbelly of Hollywood. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
She lived a LONG and fruitful life and mentored some of our up and coming legends. That's how it should be done. I'm so glad that she received proper acknowledgement while she was here with us and I truly hope that she is at eternal peace. She told us EVERYTHING at the very end. She gave us so much and absolutely did her very best. Journey well, Ms. Tyson!

19 people found this helpful

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Profound story

Such a prolific life and important book. I am so grateful that she planted this seed before transitioning. One beautiful soul.

16 people found this helpful

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Sankofa!

To go back and fetch. A bestseller two days before ascending. Bravo 🙌🏾 Deep bow 🙏🏾

15 people found this helpful

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Excellent book everyone should get a cooy

An excellent read thank you for blessing us with your talent queen Cicely Tyson May your soul Rest In Peace

12 people found this helpful

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Well Done

Rest easy Queen 🤍🕊🌹
Thanks for this, she was more than a pioneer. Through her story, it inspired me to be a better woman, a unstoppable woman.

11 people found this helpful

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Powerful

The story of her life is a testament to the glory of the Lord manifested in her life. It is also a love letter to her daughter who had to share her mother with the world. To Joan I say thank you.

7 people found this helpful

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I’ve never knew a book could heal this deep

Writing this as the acknowledgments are read, my soul lifted and eyes full of tears; you need to read this book. Not just black women(while let’s be honest Ms. Cicely was our life force) but everyone. This book speaks honestly and eloquently, with vigor and empathy. In a time where things seem uncertain this story of faith, promise, patience and purpose have given me a sigh of relief and a new set of eyes. The depth in which she saw not only her characters and colleagues but also the black women who would come to read this book gave me chills. I pray this book becomes required curriculum as she is truly a piece of history

5 people found this helpful

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  • Comfort Ndukauba
  • 02-02-21

Intriguing memoir

The memoir served as ancient and modern of American existence. Ms Tyson laid it bare her personal and family struggles. She shared honestly the decisions she made in life that brought her both highs and lows . She expressed so much gratitude for the privilege to choose the path she walked in life and how it all paid off.
When I learned of her passing two days after the release of her memoir, it felt to me like her farewell message to the world.
I recommend this book for everyone. It covers almost every aspect of life.
I pray that her courageous soul rest in peace Amen.

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  • Sexybaje
  • 02-19-21

Wonderful read!

Absolutely loved the book! It resonated with me on many levels as a black woman myself e.g.Cicely's complicated relationship with her mother. However it was more of an inspiration and guideline on how we as black people and particularly black women should carry our selves....maintain standards, insist on what we expect personally and professionally. Incase you dont get it....I loved this book. Thank you Cicely, I have started using my cayenne and being more mindful of my diet and hydration🥰

1 person found this helpful

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  • adele
  • 02-25-21

amazing

authentic, a must read for all women and others. audio made it even better :)

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  • abi
  • 02-25-21

An amazing book, a love letter for us all

I absolutely loved this book, the performance was outstanding, the biography itself was so beautifully written and nourished my soul. Thank you Ms Tyson 🙏🏾

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  • Home Maker
  • 02-24-21

Simply exquisite!!!!

The story of this legend’s personal journey is riveting not to mention her countless professional accomplishments which in this book outlines with great contextual prowess.

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  • J. Beaver
  • 02-23-21

Awe inspiring

Loved this. What an extraordinary woman who lived a truly inspiring life. Really superb.

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  • C Mitchell
  • 02-20-21

Master Piece!

Could not stop listening to fascinating womens life.
Brilliant!
Excellent narration made me feel like I was listening to
Cicely Tyson herself.
May she Rest in Paradise!
Thank you!