Today I make no attempts to fully pay homage to the legacy of the woman the word knew as Maya Angelou. It’s impossible. Yet, I dare not miss the opportunity to make recognition. The impact on literature, the arts, and the human spirit made by, Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, is indescribably invaluable. In short and unfilled words, she was a phenomenal writer and author, activist, and woman.
In one of the many articles I read today on her ascension on May 28, 2014, I read that life was cumulative. Maya Angelou’s life is the perfect example of that. From tragic events as a young woman to exotic dancing to calypso performer to activist then poet, Ms. Angelou proved that life is redemptive. So many times we feel where we start is where we’ll end, but to learn of her death today reiterated that thought is just not so.
Her literary works such as “Phenomenal Woman” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” empowered so many. I can recall having to learn and/or recite these poems in primary and secondary school. All the while, feeling strength from the collection of words she was able to creatively display as a literary piece.
As a new author, I never realized how those words impacted my passion. But they did. What many don’t know is that writers let the world into their minds; their hearts; their souls. Our words become apart of someone else and people take claim to those emotions that are embedded in them. Ms. Angelou’s work clearly became apart of the world. Remembering her today left me no choice but to go back to those moments that I stood on stage or sat in a classroom to project her poems. Re-visiting those poems today left me inspired and encouraged that this world is mine for the taking with all the positive energy I can give.
To all my readers, please take a moment of silence following this read to recognize the long-lasting effects Maya Angelou’s life will have on literature and people as a whole. I can only pray I am able to leave even a miniscule impact to that Ms. Angelou has. RIP Maya Angelou. Thank you for everything!