Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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A tribute to Maya Angelou

When she spoke I listened
As if she were speaking directly to me.
She chose her words carefully
And set and example for all to see.
She told us why the caged bird sings
She lost her voice through childhood trauma
But found it again through poetry
Then she rose above poverty with dance and drama
She was as comfortable with a pen as she was on the stage
Acting with James Earl Jones, Gossett, and Cicely Tyson
Wrote for and worked with Malcolm X and King
She lived and loved in Paris, Cairo, and Ghana

And she was just getting started

At the height of her career she produced movies
She wrote scores and songs for Roberta Flack
She won Tony Awards
She won honorary degrees, and then she gave back.
By the time I came on the scene at the age of 13
she had accomplished all of these things
And I as a child looked at her life and her works
And breathed a sigh of relief as her words gave me wings
I saw so many similarities in my past and hers
Downtrodden, beaten, marginalized
I began to see the world through a new set of eyes
Her books gave me solace,
Her words gave me strength
I could see a future for myself beyond arms length.
And she continued to write,
And she continued to speak
She continued to sing
She continued to preach.

And I continued to learn.

She said, "If you only have one smile in you,
Give to the people you love"

"Nothing will work unless you do"

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within"

"The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free"

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.  Don't complain"

"My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept love in return.

She was a woman phenomenally..  and she will be missed.


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