Black History Month Shoot: Cicely Tyson

Black History Month. 

I couldn't let this month pass (although everyday is black history) without paying homage to a modern day shero:  Cicely Tyson.

Tyson is one of the most powerful, well-respected and talented actresses whose impact has reached far past her field and spanned generations. So for me it was befitting to honor her legacy with a patische (an imitation of an artistic work) of one of my favorite photos of her:

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

Her grace. Her life. Her strength. Her fragility. Everything was captured in this potraiture. 

I remember when I first came across it. I just stared at her. Wondering what she was thinking. Wondering if the worry in her heart was being drowned out by the joy in her soul. I saw myself in her.

This photo reminded me that a smile doesn't always mean you're happy nor a frown, sad. It's in the stillness of our mind and silence of our lips that we ready ourselves to take on the world and the joy of our lives exudes from our very being. 

However, at the same time this photo portrays solitude, I can't help but notice the slight furrow in her brow. Almost as if she's seen something in the distance that's just not right and she knows she has to address it. That she's going to address.

Can you see why I was so drawn to this photo? Her stance commands attention and could hush a thousand onlookers. So I challenged myself to channel my own strength. To not just emulate her poise and grace, but to embody it. That's the beauty in being a positive role model. You help others realize what's already in them and how to bring it out.

Thank you, Cicely, for being a matriarch, for forging the way through perseverance and maintaining a high standard black excellence. 


Cicely Tyson pastiche




photography x Ebony Archie | @savvysunflower_