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
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...]
Dr. Angelou is the author of many phenomenal books. Here are the ones listed on her official website, Maya Angelou:
autobiographical series (six volumes)
”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).
”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).
”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.
additional autobiographical work
”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.
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
Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise (1978).
”Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
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).
food, cooking, recipes
These films are listed on Dr. Angelou’s website:
See Maya Angelou on YouTube
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?