BET CEO Pens "Women Rule" Essay on Actress Cicely Tyson

Debra Lee writes on the legacy of the Tony Award-winning actress.

Posted: 10/28/2013 10:34 AM EDT

BET CEO Debra Lee recently wrote about her appreciation for Tony Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson, a close friend and woman she admires, in an essay as part of the "Women Rule" series featured on Politico.com

Tyson took home the Tony Award for Best Actress and the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress for her performance in the Broadway play A Trip to Bountiful. Lee spoke further on the "generous spirit" behind all of the awards and success in her essay:

What the awards don’t reveal is her truly generous spirit, her strong resolve and her passion for ensuring that the next generation has the tools to succeed. I’ve had the pleasure of admiring her and the honor of knowing her for many years. If she’s pleased with you, you know it. If she’s not, you know that, too. I’ve felt the warmth of her hug, and every now and then, received a word of advice with a knowing look. She’s always seeking higher ground and encouraging others to get there, too.

She’s a woman to admire, but not only for what she’s done. She should also be admired for what she would not do. Cicely recognized the power of the medium and made a choice early in her career to only accept roles that sent a positive message to women — especially women of color. She used her career as a platform to make a statement.

Read full essay here.

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 (Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

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