Cicely Tyson performed a Langston Hughes poem as she accepted a lifetime achievement award from Ebony magazine.
Adding years and grit to her voice, Tyson recited "Mother to Son" from memory, telling the audience at the magazine's annual Power 100 gala Thursday that "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair." When she got to the line about "don't you turn back," people cheered.
It was a moving moment in a jubilant evening celebrating the achievements of black leaders in business, science, education and entertainment. Cedric the Entertainer hosted the private ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Tyson said that while she's grateful for...