“A person is wise if he listens to millions of advice and doesn’t implement any of it.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
Everyone seems to want to be famous by any means necessary. With the reality television sensation that is sweeping the nation, it doesn’t seem hard to achieve. It does not matter if you are a house wife, a rapper or a member of a sorority, if you have drama, the media wants you to bear all for entertainment purposes. Anyone has the opportunity to make it big on television, as long as you are willing to fight, tell secrets and ruin other lives.
Though this source of entertainment is riveting, the impression of the urban community is left more tainted than it was already perceived to be. These shows depict our communities as uneducated sex fiends with little or no moral standards that are obsessed with money, cars and clothes. We are illustrated as a generation that is preoccupied with the mirage of the body instead of the intelligence of the mind, causing us to only glorify the movement of hips and how much money it costs to attain them.
In spite of the fact that media seems to show the less graceful and sophisticated side of the urban community, one can imagine a day where the residents refuse to endure such demeaning roles for pretty accessories.
The 1950’s were the pinnacle of racial tensions forcing the nation to view social structure differently. This era birthed the Civil Rights Movement that introduced the urban community to the ideas of pride and unity to put an end to inequality. At the forefront of the speeches were urban artists, actors, actresses and models who made it their business to not portray systematized characters.
Born into a family of hard workers, Ms. Cicely Tyson was once a typist. When her mother discovered that Ms. Tyson was going to be an actress, her mother kicked her out of the home in fear that Ms. Tyson would indulge in an immoral life. Though the majority of roles for black women at the time were waitresses, hookers and other inglorious depictions, Ms. Tyson refused to accept them. One could assume that although Ms. Tyson and her mother were not on speaking terms she still remained determined to bring her family honor. With this determination, Ms. Tyson began to receive more dynamic roles that allowed her to show her true ability as an actress. The decisions that she chose to make paved the path for her to go on and receive numerous accolades including two Emmy Awards and co-founding the Dance Theater of Harlem.
Although Ms. Tyson could have had more screen play if she had accepted any role, she stood strong in her beliefs and decided to only accept the best.
Before she leaves the earth, I would like to say thank you to Ms. Cicely Tyson. Thank you Ms. Tyson for showing me that I never have to settle for anything but the best. Thank you for creating a standard for women around the world by exemplifying grace. Thank you for not giving into the illusion of fame and glamour by striving to recreate the image of the urban community.
I am forever grateful.
* Images found on http://www.google.com