I remember clearly when I first discovered the writings of Maya Angelou.
It was around the same time I discovered James Baldwin.
I was a lonely college student trying to figure out the meaning of life. Maya and James, I call them by their first names, not out of disrespect, but because their writing made me feel like we were best friends.
James made me think.
But Maya Angelou…she kept me positive.
Her death yesterday got me to thinking about how lately some pretty hateful attitudes have exploded into the American conversation.
Everything from Donald Sterling’s racist rants to Elliot Rodger’s murderous misogyny.
But we all know there’s another side to America.
And a good example is the very positive life and work of Maya Angelou.
Though she never went to college, her life was like the ultimate graduate school — for life.
She was a poet, a political activist, a calypso dancer, a singer and so much more.
The voice of more than one generation.
Maya Angelou died at her North Carolina home yesterday at the age of 86.
Her literary agent said she had been frail and suffering from heart problems.
But her heart and mind and soul were on vivid display in what may have been her greatest work – “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”.
And in her poem for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration — “On The Pulse Of Morning”.
“A rock, a river, a tree
Hosts to species long since departed”
It was so simple yet so profound.
Today, the rock cries out to us. Clearly, forcefully.
Come. You may stand upon my back and face your distant destiny. But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here.
Today, we remember the woman who called the reverend martin Luther king, Jr. A friend … with these words from her poem, “still I rise”.
“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
And she did. From nothing. And she inspired many of us to do the same.
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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Continue reading DON LEMON: Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou