In the 1970, actress Cicely Tyson earned acclaim for her role in Roots as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work in Sounder, a film about sharecroppers in the Depression-era south. Since then, she's become well known for tireless activism, which gained the attention of director Ava DuVernay when she was choosing who would grace the cover of her guest-edited issue of TIME Magazine.
After appearing on the cover of TIME's second annual "Optimism" issue, Tyson tweeted her thanks to DuVernay, saying:
"I have been asked multiple times what it feels like to be on the cover of @TIME? My humblest answer is, had u not been guest editor, I would probably never know. For that I am truly grateful and thankful that God put u in my life. I hope the cover inspires many more."
Delighting fans, DuVernay responded with deference to her role-model:
"It was my true honor, Your Majesty."
Tyson now plays the role of Ophelia Harkness in Shonda Rhimes' hit series How To Get Away With Murder, showing just how far she is from done.
It's that exact dedication to her craft and to her philanthropic work which made Tyson a perfect fit for DuVernay's take on optimism. The director wrote in the "Art of Optimism" edition that she hopes to "present the idea of optimism, hopeful progress and radical change through the appreciation of art."
Mama Ophelia Visits Annalise in Prison - How To Get Away With Murder Sneak Peek 3x12 youtu.be
DuVernay went on to write another message to Tyson on Twitter, saying:
"I love you, Ms. Tyson. Thank you for all that you are, and for all that you continue to give us. This is the least of what you deserve, Your Majesty."
Fans were touched by the interaction between two masters of their crafts:
Social media users were also in complete agreement with DuVernay: it's impossible to give Cicely Tyson too many props.
Though there will always be negativity in the world, small exchanges like this one between DuVernay and Tyson can bring light to even the darkest days.
For an actress as respected as Cicely Tyson, appearing on the cover of TIME is an overdue honor.
The Discrimination Cicely Tyson Faced | Oprah's Master Class | Oprah Winfrey Network youtu.be
Sounder (1972) - Trailer youtu.be
Thank you for your work, Ms. Tyson!