Cicely Tyson Officially Becomes The First Black Woman To Receive Honorary Oscar


November 19, 2018

Photo credit: Robyn Beck/ Getty Images 

The legendary Cicely Tyson made history at the 10th annual Governors Awards on Sunday when she became the first Black woman to receive an Oscar in the honorary award category. Tyson’s long overdue Oscar comes over four decades after she received her first and only nomination for “Sounder” in 1972. With Tyson paving the way for generations of Black actresses, visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who by Tyson’s request presented her with her award, shared on Instagram: 

“For my speech, I asked for one word to describe Ms. Tyson from many of us who adore her. Magnificent words flowed in.
Lupita Nyong’o – Vibrant
Taraji Henson – A treasure
Aunjanue Ellis – Unparalleled
Regina King – Authentic
Cynthia Erivo – Regal
Shonda Rhimes – Legendary
Anika Noni Rose – Our Gift
Gabrielle Union – Unapologetic
Amandla Steinberg – Groundbreaking
Gugu Mbatha Raw – Trailblazing
Kerry Washington – Divine
Viola Davis – Our Muse
Oprah Winfrey said without hesitation. ‘Noble. She is nobility personified.'” 


Photo credit: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images 

In her acceptance speech, Tyson said: “You know, next month on December 19, I am going to be 94 years old, and I don’t know if I would cherish a better gift than this. This is the culmination of all those years of have and have-not.” 

Check out Tyson’s full speech below. 


Congratulations, Ms. Tyson! Your talent and words of wisdom continue to be an inspiration to us all. 

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content