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Cicely Tyson Gets Inducted Into The 2020 TV Hall Of Fame

The 95-year-old legend was honored for her trailblazing career.

Cicely Tyson is among the latest inductees into the TV Hall of Fame. The 95-year-old acting legend was honored at the 25th induction ceremony at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California on Tuesday (Jan. 28).

Additional inductees included Disney executive Robert Igor, former TV executive Geraldine Laybourne, Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane, and TV director Jay Sandrich.

Shonda Rhimes inducted Tyson into the Hall of Fame, detailing her trailblazing career of more than 80 years. Rhimes spoke to the similarities between dream chasers, “And then there is that rarest of souls, that one spark of light who not only fulfills her dreams, but also fulfills the dreams of generations to follow,” Rhimes said of Tyson.

“That courageous warrior who demands more, and makes more out of a dream than anyone before her ever dared to imagine possible. See, Ms. Cicely Tyson is not like you or me. She isn’t just someone who fulfilled her dream. Ms. Cicely Tyson herself is a dream fulfilled.”

Tyson’s trailblazing career includes becoming the first black actor to star in a TV series, the fist black woman to win an Emmy as lead actress in a television movie, and the first black actress to receive and honorary Oscar.

The icon accepted her honor by sharing a message to her late mother, who was “very upset” with her for not going to college. “I want to let you know that I’m at an Academy now,” Tyson jokingly said. “And I hope I made up for the disappointment.”

Tyson also thanked God “for keeping me here as long as I’ve been here to get to an Academy,” Rhimes for her “incredible words,” and the Academy for inducting her into the Hall of Fame.

Later in her speech, Tyson shared a story about a run-in with a white reporter while promoting the film, Sounder. The reporter couldn't “accept the fact” that Tyson's son (in the film) referred to his father as “daddy,” as the reporter's son referred to him. Despite finding the moment “difficult to swallow,” Tyson realized that there were “some issues” that she had to address, and that she would use her career “as my platform.”

Tyson continued, “I am extremely grateful that what I refer to as 'divine guidance' led me to this experience and gave me that future of my career.”

In closing Tyson joked, “I’ve been getting a lot of awards lately and I find myself wondering if ya’ll know something that I don’t know, and if you do, you better share it with me, because I will find a way to find out.

“I have had an incredible career,” she added. “I am grateful, not to the shoulders that I stood on, but the backs that I laid on and stood on while the women in our family picked cotton with babies strapped to their backs. I’m grateful for them. I am super grateful that I have been here for 95 years, and have no idea who this person is. I find myself looking in the mirror every now and then and saying ‘Cicely, do you believe this?’ I don’t [believe it] but I am grateful to the Heavenly Father, to every single one of you who has held me up over these years. I want you to know that I would not be here if it weren’t for each one you.”

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‘Boyz N The Hood’ And ‘You Got Served’ Actress Esther Scott Dies At Age 66

Esther Scott, the actress who appeared in Boyz n the Hood, Beverly Hills 90210, Full House, You Got Served and more, has passed away at age 66.

Scott died last Friday (Feb. 14), days after suffering an apparent heart attack. Her death was first reported on Tuesday (Feb. 18) by TMZ.

According to the site, Scott was found unconscious in her Santa Monica, Calif. home last Tuesday (Feb. 11) and remained hospitalized for several days before passing away on Valentine's Day surrounded by friends and family.

"She loved what she did. She would get stopped on the street often and people would recognize her -- but they didn't know her name," Scott's sister told the website. "Hopefully now people will remember her name, her work and the contributions she gave to the entertainment industry."

The Queens native began her career as a voice actress in the ‘80s series StarWars: Ewoks. Scott’s first credited feature film role was as grandmother to the character Tisha (played by Leonette Scott) in Boyz n the Hood.

Scott worked steadily throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, following up her appearance in Boyz n the Hood with roles in Encino Man, Don Juan DeMarco, Illegal Blue, Species, The Craft, and Out to Sea.

Scott found success in both TV and film appearing as a judge in Austin Powers in Goldmember, a grandmother in You Got Served, as well as roles in Dreamgirls, Transformers, Gangster Squad, and The Birth of a Nation, The Steve Harvey Show, Party of Five, Ellen, Hart of Dixie, and Sister, Sister.

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Malcolm X’s Assassination To Be Reinvestigated After Docuseries Raises Questions

A documentary on Malcolm X’s assassination has prompted authorities to reexamine the case. In Who Killed Malcolm X? historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad explores the many questions surrounding the death of one of history’s most pivotal figures. The six-part series originally aired on Fusion but has been gaining popularity since appearing on Netflix.

This February will mark the 55-year anniversary of Malcolm’s murder. The former Nation of Islam leader, who left the organization and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was gunned down inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Three members of the NOI, Mujahid Abdul Halim, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam, were convicted for the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

As noted by the Innocence Project, Aziz and Islam always maintained their innocence, while Halim confessed to partaking in the fatal shooting. In 1966, Halim testified that Aziz and Islam had “nothing to do” with the murder. In 1978, Halim identified four other men as co-conspirators. His confession was supported by FBI documents obtained by civil rights lawyer William Kunstler. Prosecutors in the original trial claimed to have been unaware of the documents and New York State Supreme Court Judge Harold Rothwax ultimately rejected a motion to vacate Aziz and Islam’s convictions. Rothwax died in 1997.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has since met with representatives from the Innocence Project “and associated counsel regarding the matter,” a spokesperson for the DA’s office said in an emailed statement, per NPR.

Although Islam died in 2009, Aziz, now 81, continues to fight to clear his name. He was freed on parole in 1985. The Innocence Project joined forces with civil rights attorney David Shanies to re-investigate Azis’s conviction. “We are grateful that District Attorney Vance quickly agreed to conduct a review of the conviction of Muhammad Aziz. Given the historical importance of this case and the fact that our client is 81 years old, we are especially encouraged that Mr. Vance has assigned two highly respected prosecutors, Peter Casolaro and Charles King, to work on this re-investigation,” the Innocence Project and Shanies said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working cooperatively with them to see that justice is done.”

Casolaro worked on the case of the Exonerated Five and King is a member of the Conviction Integrity Program of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

As noted by the Innocence Project, there was no physical evidence linking Aziz or Islam to Malcolm’s murder. In fact, Aziz wasn’t even at the venue. The day of the murder, Aziz had returned home after being treated for a leg injury. He heard about Malcolm's assassination while listening to the radio that day, and has doctors and witnesses, to corroborate his story.

Watch the trailer for Who Killed Malcolm X? below.

 

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Ava DuVernay Named Director Of Nipsey Hussle Documentary For Netflix

Ava DuVernay's next cinematic feat will center on a hometown legend. According to Deadline, the acclaimed director will lead a documentary on Nipsey Hussle for streaming giant Netflix.

The announcement was made on Monday (Feb. 10), two weeks since DuVernay presented a musical tribute to the late rapper at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. Hussle won two gramophones that evening: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

In tribute to his birthday on August 15, the Emmy-award winning director shared a message on Twitter that expressed her gratitude for the interactions they had. "Grateful that he existed. Grateful we walked this vast earth at the same time," she wrote. "In the same city. Grateful that our paths crossed. Grateful for the work and wisdom he gave us."

For Nipsey. Ermias. Son. Brother. Partner. Friend. Artist. Champion. Grateful that he existed. Grateful we walked this vast earth at the same time. In the same city. Grateful that our paths crossed. Grateful for the work and wisdom he gave us. We miss you. Happy Birthday, Nip. xo pic.twitter.com/cNEZHUhiao

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 15, 2019

On March 31, 2019, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot outside of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. His death rattled various communities and prompted supporters and new fans to take a look back at this trajectory within music and entrepreneurship.

According to Billboard, other streaming services in the mix included Apple and Amazon. Alongside Hussle's family, the entrepreneur's Marathon Films will also helm production duties.

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