Amazing life, Amazing woman, Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou 5-28-14When I saw her in a Tyler Perry movie not too long ago, I thought: “Wow!  What grace!  What elegance!  There surely is nobody like Maya Angelou…”  I remember thinking back to the first time I had heard about her.  I was in high school and my English teacher had shared an excerpt from the book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.  I remember her also reading a couple of poems too.  What struck me then was that when Dr. Angelou described the little black girl living in poverty and seeming slavery was her… 

We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated      (Maya Angelou)

I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that this was going on in America contemporarily.  This woman is around the same age as my own grandmother, how could this be?

You see, younger Haitian girls in my school did not get exposed much to Dr. Angelou’s work or life.  It took quite some time before I decided to look back and begin to see how this very woman, from the time I had heard of her literary works as a teenager, has paved the way for not just me, but for countless artists.  She went through innumerable obstacles, braved ardent fires, made it past dark and thorny forests, and all as she paved the way for others.

Maya Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, roamed with greats like Billie Holiday, and had the makings of others like Josephine Baker.  This woman has influenced countless communities in a myriad of subjects.  From politics to signing, from acting to hosting radio shows, Dr. Angelou was a pillar and cross-generationally we looked up to her.

Let Faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good        (Maya Angelou)

I consider myself lucky to have learned more about Dr. Angelou upon my arriving into the United States, and cannot lie about being impressed with her with each piece of information I was able to gather.  This woman has seen it all, has lived a full life, has transcended unimaginable woes, and what constantly flabbergasts me is her almost stubborn devotion to teaching others through her experiences.  Oh!  She was amazing!  What grace, what poise, what elegance, what heart!

Maya Angelou. Photograph by Martin Godwin.    04-06-1999.

Photographed by Martin Godwin 4-6-99

We all make mistakes and there is always opposition when one is in the limelight.  But Dr. Angelou has more than made up for her trespasses.  She was not afraid to show her flaws, to show her humanness.  This is an uncommon trait as it is.  She hid not and was ready to share her heart and stories with the world.

I guess you can say that this was one of my most prestigious heroines.  The world will miss you Maya.  I will miss you.  Her own quote resonates true in my heart: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  You are a prime example of a master at keeping the Faith.

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2 Responses to “Amazing life, Amazing woman, Maya Angelou”

  1. I love this one, Maya Angelou will always live in my heart. “I know why the caged bird sings” – there is a yearning inside of us that must share and express the Self.
    I believe you are exemplifying this through your work here on ‘meunfinished’.
    I am grateful to experience this process with you:)

  2. Thank you for your comment Jasmine! It is a privilege to be on the journey with you. Expressing the Self is the only way to go, otherwise, we tend to suffocate from “engaging” who we are…

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