I was in the middle of reading Issa Rae’s book when I purchased “Just As I Am” and I couldn’t wait to finish reading “Awkward Black Girl” so I could dive into the stories and wisdom Ms.Cicely had to share.
I got lost in “Just As I Am”. I was listening to it every chance I got. In the car, at work, while cleaning, one day I even put it on my speaker so I could listen to it while I showered.
I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ms.Cicely. She is everything I admire about black women. Strong, sassy and graceful. She made me laugh, cry and smile while I listened to her story being told by Robin Miles. Who read the story so well, I thought they made a way to make Cicely Tyson’s voice sound young again!
It is 16 hrs long but I read all my books at 1.5x speed which speeds them up a little. About half way through, in fear of the end, I slowed it up to it’s original speed just to have a few extra hours with it.
From reading this book, I learned that Ms.Cicely had a daughter. Which I don’t think anyone outside of her immediate family knew until the book came out. That simple piece of information should show you what a hell of a woman she was. How she kept that out of public knowledge for over 70 years is something! Although she never did say or mentioned why or how she kept the public eye, it is easy to understand why.
This is a book I will pass on to my daughters and granddaughters when I feel like they are ready to receive it. Because I definitely think this is a book you have to be ready for or else you will miss the gems.
At that time of reading this, I was searching for guidance from an older, wiser woman and that is exactly what I got. Pushed me right out of the slump I was in. Immediately after finishing “Just As I Am” I got up and finished something I had been putting off for weeks.
She was and still is such an inspiration.
I recommend to those who choose to read it, to do so with the audiobook. I think the way Robin read it added to the experience.
“Just As I Am” is the perfect memoir for such an incredible woman.