Honoring Global Renaissance Woman Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou reciting her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning”, at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993

Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais, has died. She was 86.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:

Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.

Guy B. Johnson

I first learned of Maya’s death while listening to Here & Now, public radio’s live
midday news program. In this story, Robin Young examines the life and legacy of Maya Angelou with poet Kevin Young.

Global Renaissance Woman

Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. [click to continue...]


A Bibliographer’s Tribute

This Web page about Maya Angelou is done in tribute to her life and work , on the occasion of Hearts Day 2005 at Howard University. Because Maya Angelou is such a multitalented and accomplished artist and wise woman, the task of exhausting the voluminous material which has been written by and about this one individual professor, academic, writer, poet, entertainer, public speaker, philosopher, essayist … becomes daunting.

Having thus stated these sobering facts, the guide has, as much as possible, merged academic with art to reflect the totality of who Maya Angelou is . It is an excellent source for academic writing, and a wonderful muse. I hope you enjoy perusing it, as much as I enjoyed developing this page.
Celia C. Daniel: Bibliographer  [click to continue...]


bird does not sing

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” – Maya Angelou

Dr. Angelou is the author of many phenomenal books. Here are the ones listed on her official website, Maya Angelou:

autobiographical series (six volumes)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

”The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. Caged Bird, Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? (1983).

”… the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God’s will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), African American poet, autobiographer, and performer. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, ch. 18 (1970).

Gather Together in My Name

”We had won. Pimps got out of their polished cars and walked the streets of San Francisco only a little uneasy at the unusual exercise. Gamblers, ignoring their sensitive fingers, shook hands with shoeshine boys…. Beauticians spoke to the shipyard workers, who in turn spoke to the easy ladies…. I thought if war did not include killing, I’d like to see one every year. Something like a festival.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author, poet. Gather Together in My Name, vol. 2, prologue (1974).

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas

”If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning “Good morning” at total strangers.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, vol. 3, ch. 5 (1976). Quoting her mother’s advice.

The Heart of a Woman

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

A Song Flung Up to Heaven

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (Modern Library)

additional autobiographical work

Mom & Me & Mom


I Shall Not Be Moved

Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

Phenomenal Woman

”Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise (1978).

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

And Still I Rise

”Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. African American poet, author, educator. “Still I Rise,” in Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women, p. 9, Random House (1994).


Letter to My Daughter

children’s book

My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me

food, cooking, recipes

Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes


These films are listed on Dr. Angelou’s website:

The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration

Down in the Delta

Poetic Justice

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings……(Full Movie) – You Tube

See Maya Angelou on YouTube

Be Inspired

Prior to writing this post, I knew pitifully little about Maya Angelou, a truly phenomenal woman. I now plan to learn more about her, to be inspired by her works and her life. How about you? How have you been inspired by Maya Angelou?

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