... a 400-page chronicle of a history as American as apple pie, as Black as the dead of night, as rich, surely, as Tyson’s favorite meals, oxtails and okra, cooked up by her late ex-husband Miles Davis. While undoubtedly personal, it’s a universal accounting of just how far we’ve come in Tyson’s near-century of life, and how far we still must go ... Tyson finally gives us the honor of knowing, in the words of the Clara Ward gospel hymn, how she got over ... packed with details from Tyson’s personal and professional journeys few have known ... what shines most from the memoir is how Tyson’s story, while frankly written and supremely eye-opening, isn’t just her own. It’s also the story of Black women in America, of generations past, present and yet to come, whose wills to survive are divinely gifted and ancestrally guided ... A good and faithful servant she’s been, and we’re all the better for it.
Cicely Tyson is a living treasure; at 96, she remains passionately outspoken about national affairs, politics, and the entertainment world. Her enthusiasm, intelligence, and wit sparkle across the pages of this engaging and lively memoir ... Whether discussing the politics of natural hair or the racial violence that led to the Black Lives Matter movement, Tyson speaks with incisive clarity, humor, and moral authority.
Some readers will be distressed by depictions of children’s corporal punishment and by repeated use of a slur for disability and disabled people ... Recommend to readers who enjoy engaging and sassy memoirs, and those interested in learning about 20th-century Black theater, film, and television.