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.
And I say thank you Maya Angelou, and so long.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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