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Thread: Legendary author Maya Angelou dies

  1. #1
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Default Legendary author Maya Angelou dies

    Damn this is making me cry. I've always loved her work but her poem at President Clinton's inauguration touched me so deeply. I suspected I was pregnant and her words filled me with hope. I printed the poem and it still hangs in my daughter's room.

    Legendary author Maya Angelou dies
    By Faith Karimi, CNN
    updated 9:41 AM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014

    Maya Angelou had an illustrious career as a poet, singer, dancer and director
    She died at home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, her literary agent said
    One of her most famous works was "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

    (CNN) -- Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress whose work defied description under a simple label, has died, her literary agent, Helen Brann, said Wednesday.

    She died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Brann said.

    A professor, singer and dancer, among other things, Angelou's work spans different professions. She spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, California.

    After dropping out at age 14, she become the city's first African-American female cable car conductor.

    Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth to her son a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance. She toured Europe in the mid-1950s with "Porgy and Bess," an opera production. In 1957, she recorded her first album, "Calypso Lady."

    In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in "The Blacks," an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.

    Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    "I created myself," she has said. "I have taught myself so much."

    Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated Stamps, Arkansas.

    The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for almost a decade. When she was 7, her mother's boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.

    "My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years," she said.

    From the silence, a louder voice was born.

    Her list of friends is as impressive as her illustrious career. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey referred to her as "sister friend." She counted Martin Luther King Jr., with whom she worked during the Civil Rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her birthday.

    Angelou spoke at least six languages, and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. During that time, she wrote "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," launching the first in a series of autobiographical books.

    "I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine ... before she realizes she's reading," she said.

    Angelou was also one of the first black women film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.

    Before making it big, the 6-foot-tall wordsmith also worked as a cook and sang with a traveling road show. "Look where we've all come from ... coming out of darkness, moving toward the light," she has said. "It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet."
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

  2. #2
    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Damn. RIP Dr. Angelou.

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    I know she was on in years but still didn't see this one coming now. RIP.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    Sad. Oprah will be a mess, I am sure. RIP.
    BITTER likes this.

  5. #5
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Inaugural Poem
    Maya Angelou
    20 January 1993

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Rock, A River, A Tree
    Hosts to species long since departed,
    Marked the mastodon.
    The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
    Of their sojourn here
    On our planet floor,
    Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
    Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

    But 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 more hiding place down here.

    You, created only a little lower than
    The angels, have crouched too long in
    The bruising darkness,
    Have lain too long
    Face down in ignorance.

    Your mouths spilling words
    Armed for slaughter.

    The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
    But do not hide your face.

    Across the wall of the world,
    A River sings a beautiful song,
    Come rest here by my side.

    Each of you a bordered country,
    Delicate and strangely made proud,
    Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

    Your armed struggles for profit
    Have left collars of waste upon
    My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

    Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
    If you will study war no more. Come,

    Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
    The Creator gave to me when I and the
    Tree and the stone were one.

    Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
    Brow and when you yet knew you still
    Knew nothing.

    The River sings and sings on.

    There is a true yearning to respond to
    The singing River and the wise Rock.

    So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
    The African and Native American, the Sioux,
    The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
    The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
    The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
    The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
    They hear. They all hear
    The speaking of the Tree.

    Today, the first and last of every Tree
    Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

    Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

    Each of you, descendant of some passed
    On traveller, has been paid for.

    You, who gave me my first name, you
    Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
    Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
    Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
    Other seekers--desperate for gain,
    Starving for gold.

    You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ...
    You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
    Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
    Praying for a dream.

    Here, root yourselves beside me.

    I am the Tree planted by the River,
    Which will not be moved.

    I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
    I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

    Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
    For this bright morning dawning for you.

    History, despite its wrenching pain,
    Cannot be unlived, and if faced
    With courage, need not be lived again.

    Lift up your eyes upon
    The day breaking for you.

    Give birth again
    To the dream.

    Women, children, men,
    Take it into the palms of your hands.

    Mold it into the shape of your most
    Private need. Sculpt it into
    The image of your most public self.
    Lift up your hearts
    Each new hour holds new chances
    For new beginnings.

    Do not be wedded forever
    To fear, yoked eternally
    To brutishness.

    The horizon leans forward,
    Offering you space to place new steps of change.
    Here, on the pulse of this fine day
    You may have the courage
    To look up and out upon me, the
    Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

    No less to Midas than the mendicant.

    No less to you now than the mastodon then.

    Here on the pulse of this new day
    You may have the grace to look up and out
    And into your sister's eyes, into
    Your brother's face, your country
    And say simply
    Very simply
    With hope
    Good morning.
    dougie, BBDSP, Mel1973 and 10 others like this.
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    She was so richly talented. She has been with us such a long time, it was easy to take her wisdom and her presence for granted, or just see her as one of Oprah's creations, but that would be a mistake. She has earned a peaceful rest and will not be forgotten.
    *DIVA! and sluce like this.
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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Maya Angelou's poem Phemoenal Woman did so much for me as a kid when I read it at a school program. When my mom passed I was given a book of her "Letters to My Daughter" you have no idea how her words consoled me.
    She had to cancel events not to long ago because she fell I'll.. If I'm this sad over her passing... Her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
    sluce, Mel1973, Belt Up and 7 others like this.
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    Elite Member Fly_On_TheWall's Avatar
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    RIP to a strong wonderful woman.She will be missed.

    ETA: Oprah is going to make this all about herself.

  9. #9
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I disagree. I believe Oprah will honor her friend well.
    *DIVA! likes this.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

  10. #10
    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I agree with Sluce. Oprah will honor her. She loved and admired Maya like a mother.
    sluce likes this.
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    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Elite Member Palermo's Avatar
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    No offense, but I too think Oprah is going to be making this all about HER loss etc. It's Oprah's way.
    rockchick, Belt Up, HWBL and 5 others like this.

  12. #12
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Oprah spoke at length about how I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings changed her life.

    Diva - I too adore Phenomenal Woman. I was so happy when my daughter came home from school in high school, all excited that her class was studying this poem. It is powerful.


    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I'm telling lies.
    I say,
    It's in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It's the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    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

    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head's not bowed.
    I don't shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.
    When you see me passing
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It's in the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    the palm of my hand,
    The need of my care,
    'Cause I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.


    Maya Angelou
    Mel1973, *DIVA!, HWBL and 5 others like this.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    Oprah spoke at length about how I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings changed her life.

    Diva - I too adore Phenomenal Woman. I was so happy when my daughter came home from school in high school, all excited that her class was studying this poem. It is powerful.


    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I'm telling lies.
    I say,
    It's in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It's the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    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

    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head's not bowed.
    I don't shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.
    When you see me passing
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It's in the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    the palm of my hand,
    The need of my care,
    'Cause I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.


    Maya Angelou
    THAT is my favorite!
    *DIVA! likes this.
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  14. #14
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I have this quote hanging in my offices.

    “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” - Maya Angelou
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

  15. #15
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Ms Angelou. Although I know Oprah admired and adored her, I, too, fear she will make it at least 60/40 about herself.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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