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Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
May 28, 2014 7:39 AM   Subscribe

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou 1928 - 2014
posted by saucysault (158 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by kewb at 7:41 AM on May 28


Of the many ways that Dr. Angelou's words have touched my life, this quote, in particular, has always served as good guidance for everyone I know.

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:41 AM on May 28 [23 favorites]


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For once at least I really mean, "no words".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:41 AM on May 28




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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:43 AM on May 28


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posted by postel's law at 7:44 AM on May 28


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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 for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
posted by cellar door at 7:45 AM on May 28 [24 favorites]


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posted by gauche at 7:45 AM on May 28


Oh, no.

She was so wise. I have a quote from her above my desk that reads: "Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good."

Such a loss. :(

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posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on May 28 [10 favorites]




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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:47 AM on May 28


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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
posted by fairmettle at 7:47 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


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posted by caryatid at 7:48 AM on May 28




"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:48 AM on May 28 [8 favorites]




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posted by From Bklyn at 7:49 AM on May 28


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posted by bookwibble at 7:50 AM on May 28


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I saw speeches and read poems, but then saw some footage where she was just in conversation with someone (a comic). Every utterance was more beautifully crafted than the handsomest sentence I've ever written.
posted by hawthorne at 7:50 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I will never forget being an awkward 15 year old girl and reading "Phenomenal Woman" for the first time. For that feeling of POWER and many, many other things I will love Dr. Angelou forever.
posted by sallybrown at 7:51 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


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posted by octothorpe at 7:52 AM on May 28


My favorite poem is "Still I Rise". Living in North Carolina as I do, I had the unusual pleasure of staffing a small private dinner party in Maya Angelou's honor about 15 years ago, held at the home of a professor in my grad school department. I bonded with her driver, and I ate the leftover roasted potatoes from her plate once I returned to the kitchen. It's one of my favorite memories.

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posted by Stewriffic at 7:52 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


My wife just reminded me that Angelou said, "You should never make someone a priority who views you as an option."
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on May 28 [52 favorites]


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posted by hydropsyche at 7:54 AM on May 28


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

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posted by Sophie1 at 7:54 AM on May 28


She was the first living, grown-up poet whose works I knew and loved. She was the first proof I had that there were still poets -- that sounds ridiculous, but poetry seemed historical before I read her when I was 14 or 15. Dr. Angelou was the gateway to contemporary poetry for me.
posted by gladly at 7:54 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


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posted by louche mustachio at 7:56 AM on May 28


I saw speeches and read poems, but then saw some footage where she was just in conversation with someone (a comic).

Dave Chapelle and Maya Angelou
posted by PenDevil at 7:56 AM on May 28 [13 favorites]


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posted by mustard seeds at 7:57 AM on May 28


Such an amazing voice. I am quite bad at recognizing voices and faces, but when I hear her I know instantly who it is. And I mean 'voice' in all senses of the word.

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posted by SLC Mom at 7:58 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


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posted by wanderingmind at 8:01 AM on May 28


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posted by Kitteh at 8:01 AM on May 28


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:03 AM on May 28


I expected her to live forever. At least her words will do so.

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posted by blurker at 8:04 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


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posted by pointystick at 8:04 AM on May 28


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posted by zombieflanders at 8:04 AM on May 28


I read the first four or five of her memoirs when I was about 12 or 13. They were eye-opening in many ways --- and back then, there was no urban dictionary in which to look up "bull-dagger," you had to derive it all from context, kids --- but one of the things I remember about them was the sudden salutary shock of realising that when she didn't mention someone's skin color in describing them that meant they were black. Thus being confronted with my own biases, seeing as if for the first time the lenses which shaded my eyes and realising that they could, for a time at least, be removed. I was 12, after all.

I also enjoyed learning that she was BFFs with Decca Mitford for a while, though I believe they eventually had a falling out. Still it's fun to imagine them off in a corner together somewhere, snickering over some wickedness one of them's gotten up to.
posted by Diablevert at 8:05 AM on May 28 [11 favorites]


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posted by dismas at 8:14 AM on May 28


I saw this and thought about posting it, but I didn't want to be the one who told you.

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posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:14 AM on May 28 [8 favorites]


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I only hope she she was able to keep that poise, grace, and calm intensity right up to the end. She was a role-model for a kind of affective disposition that I hope one day to achieve.
posted by LMGM at 8:15 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


My first introduction to Maya Angelou was via this clip on Sesame Street.
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posted by ChuraChura at 8:16 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


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posted by dbiedny at 8:18 AM on May 28


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posted by 404 Not Found at 8:18 AM on May 28


In addition to her Emmy nomination for her role in Roots (she played Nyo Boto / Yaisa), Angelou won 3 Grammys. The first was for On The Pulse Of Morning (the link goes to her recitation at Clinton's inauguration in '93, the second for Phenomenal Woman , and the third for A Song Flung Up To Heaven

Visionary Project has an oral interview with her (clips here) that has been archived in the NVLP Collection of African American Oral Histories at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

She spoke six languages. Was a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana in her youth. Was Northern coordinator for Rev., Martin Luther King Jr's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Longtime mentor of Oprah.

Goodreads has over 350 Angelou quotes collected.
posted by zarq at 8:18 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I haven't read very much of her poetry, so as a celebration of her work I would love to see more people post their favorites.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:19 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


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She cut a calypso album, too.
posted by jonmc at 8:21 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


wenesvedt, I like "A Brave and Startling Truth"

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
posted by zarq at 8:21 AM on May 28 [29 favorites]


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posted by lord_wolf at 8:31 AM on May 28


I went to a creative arts summer camp growing up, and everyday at lunchtime we had a talent show for campers to show off what they had been doing at camp and their own individual talents. Once per session, the show was devoted to allowing the counselors to perform, and to a person, the counselors were amazingly talented singers, actors, musicians, photographers, sculptors, dancers, whatever. One year, one of the theater counselors did a dramatic reading of "Phenomenal Woman." A bold choice, certainly, for an audience of mostly white 8-15 year olds, but she just nailed it and really inhabited that poem. I still think of that performance these 20+ years later and how those couple of minutes have affected my outlook on race, gender, power, sexuality, etc. for my whole life. Ms. Angelou was certainly one of the most eloquent voices we have ever heard, or are ever likely to hear.

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posted by Rock Steady at 8:37 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


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posted by endotoxin at 8:38 AM on May 28


An amazing woman, an amazing life.
posted by tavella at 8:46 AM on May 28


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posted by Bibliogeek at 8:47 AM on May 28


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posted by cazoo at 8:47 AM on May 28


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posted by pianoblack at 8:48 AM on May 28


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posted by roll truck roll at 8:48 AM on May 28


My African twitter timeline has been openly weeping ever since the news broke. This is the interview that has been making the rounds.


"You may write me down in history"


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And still I rise has given me strength countless number of times...
posted by infini at 8:49 AM on May 28 [6 favorites]


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posted by Mr.Me at 8:50 AM on May 28


Blow to the gut. First thing I saw when taking a quick info break. I actually felt like crying. My first experience with her writing was with her memoirs, which I started reading in the late '80s, then continued on until I'd absorbed every scrap. She felt like a friend, a family member, and a mentor.

She went through so much, and she came out the other side with a toughness tempered by the gentleness and wisdom only brave, wild, foolish decisions can bring.

Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou. You will live on.

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posted by batmonkey at 8:52 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I'm fond of "Kin"

We were entwined in red rings
Of blood and loneliness before
The first snows fell
Before muddy rivers seeded clouds
Above a virgin forest, and
Men ran naked, blue and black
Skinned into the warm embraces
Of Sheba, Eve and Lilith.
I was your sister.

You left me to force strangers
Into brother molds, exacting
Taxations they never
Owed or could ever pay.

You fought to die, thinking
In destruction lies the seed
Of birth. You may be right.

I will remember silent walks in
Southern woods and long talks
In low voices
Shielding meaning from the big ears
Of overcurious adults.

You may be right.
Your slow return from
Regions of terror and bloody
Screams, races my heart.
I hear again the laughter
Of children and see fireflies
Bursting tiny explosions in
An Arkansas twilight.
posted by corb at 8:53 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]




You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
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
posted by infini at 8:55 AM on May 28 [14 favorites]


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posted by aesop at 8:56 AM on May 28


She cut a calypso album, too.
Link
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:00 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]




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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:08 AM on May 28


This seem appropriate:

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
posted by ashirys at 9:09 AM on May 28 [18 favorites]


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posted by joannemerriam at 9:15 AM on May 28


She read her poetry at my school while I sat at her feet. I still don't know how they pulled that off. But I was in the same room as Maya Angelou, that's a hell of a thing to be able to say.

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posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:17 AM on May 28 [12 favorites]


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:19 AM on May 28


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posted by trip and a half at 9:25 AM on May 28


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posted by AlexiaSky at 9:32 AM on May 28


I remember the first election of a President I could vote for. I was so excited when his inauguration rolled around and then, deeply disappointed when I found out that there was an artsy-fartsy poet going to be speaking. Seriously? A poet?

Then she spoke.

And my heart changed. And I took one large step closer to being the person I wanted to be.
posted by teleri025 at 9:35 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


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posted by jermspeaks at 9:47 AM on May 28


You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
- Maya Angelou

Besides writing a number of books, during her lifetime Angelou also worked as a fry cook, streetcar conductor, night-club dancer and performer, actress, singer and song composer, university professor and administrator, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization. She was a writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs, active in the civil rights movement and advisor to Malcolm X, and made routine public speaking appearances until just lately. When Maya Angelou spoke about creativity being inexhaustible and self-generating, she knew whereof she spoke.

Go in peace, Maya Angelou. You were one of the giants, someone who gave us all someone to look up to and who showed us how much we could do.
posted by orange swan at 9:49 AM on May 28 [12 favorites]


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posted by LizBoBiz at 9:50 AM on May 28


I hope this doesn't seem too self-indulgent. Having had a good cry, I recalled this poem I wrote a time back about my father.

The Day Louis Armstrong Died

My father wore his sorrow like a hundred millstone weight.
I seldom saw him angry and I never saw him hate.
And though he dressed for mourning, I only saw him cry
Once in anguish, once for love, and once when Louis Armstrong died.

This song is for a miner's son, sung in a minor key;
Whose purposes and promises for life would never be.
Some dreams he'd given up on and still others he denied.
And all of them returned to him the day King Louis died.

When time was once upon a time, when blue moons bloomed
In June of 1950 he became the perfect groom.
He promised half-formed dreams beneath his half-closed lids.
They disembarked and for their mark left half a dozen kids.

In June of sixty-eight my mother took the kids away.
I saw my father kneel and sob, begging her to stay.
He died that afternoon even though his body lived.
He took to drink with the creed: forget first, then forgive.

In summer seventy-one on our annual vacation
When our meetings were constrained to rights of visitation.
We headed off to Flagstaff, to see his boyhood town.
Even the asphalt sweated as the desert sun beat down.

We walked beside the railroad tracks where once he'd gathered coal.
Along the desert's rim we found a rattler's sun-bleached skull.
He took us to the tenement where he and grandma stayed.
He drove us by the gravel pit where as a child he played.

That night outside our cheap motel a neon scribble shone
While from the local FM station country music droned.
Then the deejay's voice broke in saying Louis Armstrong died.
I watched as for the second time I saw my father cry.

I can only half-suppose the bond between the two:
The trumpet blown with lively notes ransomed from the blue.
Perhaps the rhythms carried him back to a land of dreams
When life stepped in rhythm and love was what it seemed.

But this world isn't for the faint: and when his heart attacked
He coughed up blood and downed more drink to fight his demons back.
Once as he filled his whiskey glass, he wept for where he'd sunk,
And asked me if it hurt to have a father who's a drunk.

The human soul is only built to hold so many notes.
My father's breath became a fist, it clenched inside his throat.
No, this world isn't made of mercy: so when my father died
I looked into his casket but somehow I couldn't cry.

An angel is an angel still, by any other name.
There'll be no more excuses when we find we're all the same.
The reasons to strive for heaven are the people that we'll meet:
With Louis playing trumpet and my father at his feet.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:51 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 10:10 AM on May 28


Oh, man. There's nothing I could say that would be a fitting tribute. Her life speaks for itself.

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posted by Dorinda at 10:35 AM on May 28


A HS friend posted that she spoke out our school... I very vaguely remember her. I do remember our principal. A stern black woman who I don't remember smiling except that once.

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posted by DigDoug at 10:37 AM on May 28


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posted by happyroach at 10:40 AM on May 28


She was a remarkable, towering figure. I too thought she'd live forever. That beautiful voice speaking such powerful words.
posted by leslies at 10:41 AM on May 28


Here's a really neat article about what was going on in Ghana, and pan-africanism when Maya Angelou lived in Ghana, from Africa Is a Country
posted by ChuraChura at 10:42 AM on May 28


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posted by quazichimp at 10:54 AM on May 28


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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This quote unnerves me.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:04 AM on May 28


When I was a little girl in Brooklyn, just discovering the joys of reading, it was Ms. Maya who was my guide. Here was a woman who looked like me who travelled the world, dancing, singing, making actual money from writing ... living her life as she damn well pleased. I devoured every one of the series in her autobiography, each one leading me to the next phase of my life, first girlhood, young adulthood, womanhood. My heart is so heavy today but I pray, like Maya's grandmother did, that her soul rests in peace. Thank you, Mother/Sister. We will miss you.

"During the picking season my grandmother would get out of bed at four o'clock (she never used an alarm clock) and creak down to her knees and chant in a sleep-filled voice, "Our Father, thank you for letting me see this New Day. Thank you that you didn't allow the bed I lay on last night to be my cooling board, nor my blanket my winding sheet. Guide my feet this day along the straight and narrow, and help me to put a bridle on my tongue. Bless this house, and everybody in it. Thank you, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen."
posted by nubianinthedesert at 11:24 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


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Saw this nice photo of Angelou with James Baldwin in my twitter feed.
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:41 AM on May 28


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posted by chicainthecity at 11:47 AM on May 28


A role model beyond compare and a beauty in every way. I am much better for the life she lived.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:48 AM on May 28


"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."

I needed those words and turned to them in my darkest times quite often. When I saw someone quote them on Facebook during the Boston Marathon bombings, I remember sharing them on my own timeline and then sobbing.

More than anything, she reminded me how much of a balm poetry can be on an aching heart.

RIP, ma'am.

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posted by zooropa at 11:54 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


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Oh my goodness.
RIP
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posted by glasseyes at 12:02 PM on May 28


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posted by homunculus at 12:05 PM on May 28


"You know who we need to write a poem to express how we feel about Maya Angelou's death? Maya Angelou. She really should have pre-written one for us." My partner, almost entirely serious.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:23 PM on May 28 [5 favorites]


Phenomenal Woman is one of my very favorite poems, but I hadn't read it for a very very long time. I'm sorry it took her death to remind me how beautiful that writing is.

I just read this for the first time and teared up at my office.

Beautiful. Thank you Maya.

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posted by chatongriffes at 12:32 PM on May 28


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posted by Michele in California at 1:00 PM on May 28


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I keep reading that she lived in Egypt as a journalist and became fluent in Arabic, but can't find much more information than that. Anyone know if she ever wrote in Arabic or if there is video of her speaking, or even just her writing on living in Egypt?
posted by Corduroy at 1:05 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


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posted by Golden Eternity at 1:14 PM on May 28


I truly can't remember a time when I haven't been reading Maya Angelou, from childhood to just last week, when I filched my mother's copy of Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now.

Corduroy, read The Heart of a Woman for an account of her time in Egypt.
posted by goofyfoot at 1:21 PM on May 28


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Part of me thought she would get a pass from death for all the beauty and insight she gave to the world.
posted by jocelmeow at 1:24 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


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posted by Elly Vortex at 1:29 PM on May 28


On the Black Side of the Tracks (w/Bill Moyers)

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posted by box at 1:34 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


“I answer the heroic question "Death, where is they sting?" with "It is here in my heart and mind and memories."” M.A.

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posted by Paris Elk at 1:54 PM on May 28


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posted by Token Meme at 2:10 PM on May 28


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posted by shmurley at 2:36 PM on May 28


I will never forget how her writing made me feel. Had no idea she won Grammys for singing til today
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posted by Fibognocchi at 6:06 PM on May 28


My first introduction to Maya Angelou was one of my favorite moments on the Simpsons when I was a little kid:

[During “The Future of Reading” event]

Kent Brockman: Alright, does anyone have a question for our panel that's not about how much money they make? [the audience’s hands go down]

Lenny: [at the microphone] Uh yeah, I'm a techno-thriller junkie, and I'd like to know, is the B-2 bomber more detectible when it rains?

Kent Brockman: Oh, what do you think, Tom Clancy?

Tom Clancy Well, the B-2…

Lenny: No, no, no, I was asking Maya Angelou!

Maya Angelou: The ebony fighter awakens, dabbled with the dewy beads of morn.

Moe: Maya Angelou is black?

Maya Angelou: It is a Mach-5 child, forever bound to suckle from the shriveled breast of Congress.

Lenny: Oh, Maya, you're a national treasure!

posted by WhitenoisE at 6:10 PM on May 28 [17 favorites]


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posted by rogueepicurean at 8:01 PM on May 28


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posted by theora55 at 8:39 PM on May 28


among the best Angelou quotes to get passed around today:

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

We are all thriving a little less today.


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posted by oneswellfoop at 10:02 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


"I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh. I know that when I’m finished doing what I’m sent here to do, I will be called home and I will go home without any fear."

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posted by On the Corner at 11:54 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


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posted by Gelatin at 3:01 AM on May 29


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I'm glad I went to see her speak that one time
posted by xorry at 5:24 AM on May 29


She also cancelled her appearance in Houston this Friday, according to Fox News.
posted by gman at 5:27 AM on May 29


• A huge loss of a National Treasure.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:54 AM on May 29


"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."


This entire poem needs to be posted on National Review's website, in rejoinder to the posts by two of its writers belittling her and her accomplishments. It's almost as if she anticipated their bile.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


From kenyan poet

My first ever encounter with Maya Angelou was through her first novel ‘I know why the Caged Bird sings’. That became my bible in the sojourn through my poetic journey which started in 2004. In August 2006, I started this blog (back then it was kenyanpoet.blogspot.com). I am glad that I took that bold step onto her shoulders until I found my footing and could finally let go.

I read her work , internalised it and even preferred performing it when I decided to venture into performance a few months after starting this blog.

My words were lost in hers, the use of caged birds, phenomenal women and other phrases from her writing crept onto my work like a chameleon over a rainbow of colours taking on every one of them till finally, I found my own voice.

I was born on this very day over 30 years ago, the same day that Maya Angelou took her last breath and I am not sure what it means or of if there is some profound revelation that will come to me or that I shall uncover later.

Right now, I choose to remember how my words found their voice in hers.

Rest in Peace Maya Angelou, a Phenomenal Woman.

I wrote the poem ‘Hip Hop’ in August 2008 and this is how I choose to remember Maya Angelou.

posted by infini at 12:11 PM on May 30




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