Sunchita Tyson
Sunchita Maria Feliciano Tyson, “Toni” to her friends, was born on November 22, 1928, in New York City, the youngest of five children, to parents who had only recently migrated north from Puerto Rico. When she was three, her mother passed away, and she and her siblings were parceled out among various family members. Tyson was raised by her two beloved aunts. At twenty-four, she married Cyril DeGrasse Tyson, a sociologist, and over the next six years, gave birth to three children. Her oldest, Stephen, is a two-time Fulbright award-winning artist and college professor. Her youngest, Lynn, works in investor relations. Her middle child, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, is a world-renowned astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, host of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, and author of multiple books, including his latest, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier. “I never told my children they were brilliant. I just said do what you have to do,” says Tyson, adding, “I couldn’t deal with three egos. Ei yei yei.” She used the city as a learning lab, taking her children to the museums and parks as often as she could, and they played at home, too. “We’d sing songs and tell stories and have the children play out the roles. I remember Neil stalking through the living room as the wolf in Peter and the Wolf.” At dinner, she also encouraged her kids to give speeches about their day. “They’d introduce themselves. ‘My name is Lynn Tyson. I’m in the third grade.’ Then, they’d say something about their day, and thank you, and we’d all clap! I think that gave them great confidence.” The most challenging part of parenting, she says, was raising her children, who all had “afros so big they’d have to go sideways through the door,” during the civil rights movement of the sixties. “Integration was a big issue at the time, and I was constantly on guard to protect them from racism,” says Tyson, who later became a gerontologist for the Department of Health and Human Services. “I had to make sure that when they looked at TV and saw these students being hosed, they realized that not everyone is like that. I spent a lot of time teaching them to love, not to hate.” When she looks at her children and their accomplishments today, as well as her six grandchildren, she knows she succeeded. “I don’t use the word ‘proud,’” she says. “I feel blessed. I feel thankful, but pride does not enter.”
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8 comments
 
What an incredible environment to grow up in! :)
 
hello  iam  jo   ellen  Jonas  and  iam   a  new  rock  star  and  iam  64
 
haley  mills  have  a  sister  name julet  mills
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