Cicely Tyson, the Tony-winning actor and Civil Rights icon who passed away at the age of 96 in January 2021, will be honored with a street renaming later this month when East 101st Street, between 3rd and Lexington Avenues, is renamed Cicely Tyson Way.
The tribute to late East Harlem native Tyson will be marked September 17 with a street celebration on the stretch of 101st Street that she grew up on; the noon–5 PM event will feature an unveiling ceremony with a presentation by the Honorable Diana Ayala, New York City Council deputy speaker.
The presentation will be followed by appearances from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Poet Laureate of El Barrio Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, poet Juan Papa Santiago, the Dominican Folklore Dance Troupe, the Caribbean-American Sports and Youth Movement Steel Orchestra, and more.
The street renaming initiative was spearheaded by Ayala; Taina Traverso; and Nina M. Saxon and Deborah Quinones, who cofounded the Cicely Tyson Street Renaming and Landmark Committee.
Ms. Tyson was born in 1924 to parents from the Caribbean island Nevis; she was raised at 178 East 101st Street, a five-story walk-up between Lexington and 3rd Avenue. The actor enjoyed a distinguished career in TV and film and returned to the theatre in triumph to win a Tony Award at age 88 for The Trip to Bountiful. She earned nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1972 film Sounder and also captured an Emmy and wide acclaim for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, showcasing her remarkable ability to project the indomitable inner strength of beset characters.