MAYA ANGELOU (1928-May 28, 2014): Al-Jazeera

The title of a recently released Al-Jazeera article is “Dignitaries remember poet Maya Angelou at memorial service” (Web-site/URL: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/7/maya-angelou-memorial.html).

“Michelle Obama LAUDED poet, orator and sage (a profoundly wise person) Maya Angelou as the first person who let her know she could be a STRONG and SMART black woman, as the first lady joined other famous admirers and friends in a private memorial service Saturday (June 7 2014) that was filled with tears, LAUGHTER, poetry and gospel singing“. There are THREE things to note right off the batThere are THREE things to note right off the bat. First MAYA ANGELOU SHOULD BE “lauded”She was ONE OF THE GREATEST WRITERS OF THE 20TH CENTURYSecondly “women” SHOULD BE “strong and smart” INSTEAD OF JUST SITTING AROUND & WAITING FOR MEN TO SERVE THEMOn top of this “laughter” is ESSENTIAL EVEN AT FUNERALS

“Former President Bill Clinton said Angelou, one of the most famous black writers of the 20th century, was a woman who seemed to have lived FIVE lifetimes in one”. She was indeed A TRAILBLAZER. Others said the poet, who rose from poverty and segregation, GAVE STRENGTH TO millions of women to live their lives in modern America”This will be Angelou’s greatest legacy: she “gave strength to millions” EVEN THOUGH she was weak at various times throughout her life.

“Family, friends and admirers led by the first lady, Clinton and Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to Angelou at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where the writer had taught for more than 30 years. Angelou died May 28 (2014) at age 86 after a life with important roles in CIVIL RIGHTS and the arts“. This is something that many people didn’t know or forgot about Maya Angelou: she was a “civil rights” icon/activist IN ADDITION TO/ON TOP OF her literary prowess/genius.

“Obama told those gathered in a university chapel how reading Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” changed a little black girl who grew up on the south side of Chicago and whose first doll was Malibu Barbie”Angelou could have easily been talking about HERSELF because SHE HERSELF was a “Phenomenal Woman”. “She CELEBRATED black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before. Our CURVES, our stride, our strength, our grace“. “curves” reminds us of KATHERINE SCHWARZENEGGER who is also encouraging young girls and women of all ages to LOVE THEIR BODIES in her book “Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty from Someone Who’s Been There and Back” (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Schwarzenegger). “Her words were CLEVER and SASSY. They were powerful and SEXUAL and BOASTFUL“. “sexual” is good as long as it is NOT used in an improper wayA classic example of “sexuality” being used in a MANIPULATIVE way was when WEI GAO was admitted into the Chinese University Of Hong Kong because he was DATING someone already at that university: CUI XILING his ” FUTURE wife ” with whom he now has TWO kids (Web-site/URL: file:///C:/Users/Bowen/Downloads/60b7d529dd5d3ae28a%20(9).pdf) which as we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions is RIDICULOUS because universities SHOULDN’T have anything to do with people’s love lives especially “FUTURE wives”. USING that relationship to GAIN ADMISSION is clearly UNACCEPTABLESo in addition to “Pay to Play” POLITICS we now have a SEX FOR ADMISSION scandal, which is LUDICROUS.

“Clinton remembered THAT voice and how Angelou CHOSE not to speak for five years after she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend as a child”. “She was without a voice for FIVE years and then she developed THE GREATEST voice on the planet. God loaned her His voice” and WHAT A VOICE MAYA ANGELOU HAD. “She had the voice of God. And he decided he wanted it back for a while“. Well Maya Angelou has gone home now but it’s up to US to CARRY her “voice” ON…because this “majestic voice” has now been silenced…but her MESSAGE of HOPE & COMPASSION WILL NEVER BE SILENCED.  

“He also said she was a role model for many”. “We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a BIG piece of American history. And TRIUMPHED OVER ADVERSITY“, which SHE CERTAINLY DID. “And proved how DUMB racism isand this came from a lady who LIVED THROUGH THAT HELL.

“Winfrey spoke of Angelou as her SPIRITUAL QUEEN MOTHER, saying she always took notes whenever they spoke on the phone. She cried a few times as she remembered how Angelou was a vital part of her career, reminding her of the millions of people she has touched through television”.

“Winfrey said she struggled to put what Angelou meant into words, then realized she owed the poet NOT words, but ACTIONS“. BINGO. “I cannot fill her shoes, but I can WALK IN HER FOOTSTEPSand this is something we MUST do: “walk in her footsteps”.

“Clinton said he first encountered Angelou through her autobiographical book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings“. “He grew up about 20 miles from where Angelou spent her childhood and said the author’s power was amplified because he was so familiar with her surroundings”.

Finally, “Clinton compared Angelou to a firefly who would light up at the most unexpected time, illuminating “something RIGHT BEFORE YOUR NOSE you’ve been OVERLOOKING, something in your mind you’ve been BURYING. Something in your heart you were AFRAID TO FACE“. This is THE DEFINITION OF Maya Angelou and how she lived her life: she was NEVER “afraid to face” ANYTHINGPerhaps this was the consequence of growing up in segregated Americabut this is what helped Maya Angelou TRIUMPH over many of the evils that plague our modern society.

 To concludeif we may, let’s borrow and adapt phrases from MO’NIQUE‘s Oscar speech: We want to thank Maya Angelou for enduring all that she had to so that we would not have to (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pidOjGClz_4). We can also adapt KEVIN COSTNER‘s eulogy for WHITNEY HOUSTON because when people talk about the greatest writers of the 20th centuryit will have little meaning to” MANY of us if “she (Maya Angelou) is not” mentioned (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wjh0N1EzPI). 

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