Maya Angelou. A person I would personally describe as one of the greatest poets/writers in the United States. I have been reading her poems since I was about 11 years old and sometimes, whenever I feel the need for a little boost in my confidence, I take a little time out of the day to read my favorite poem from her: “Still I Rise”. I would like to say that I have read every poem she has ever written, but I cannot. Her most popular ones are the ones I know by heart with a few exceptions of her lesser knowns ones such as “Son To Mother” and “On Aging”.
This African American woman undoubtedly experienced a good amount of racial prejudices and discrimination as she grew up. The problems not only came from societal views but even within her family did she face misfortune. At a young age, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend and proceeding the attack, Dr. Angelou’s family members murdered her violator. She then made the conscious decision to live a few years of her life as a mute in order to make peace with herself.
Despite the trouble she faced, she went on to pursue a career in dancing and performing and eventually ventured into what we mostly know her for; writing. Maya Angelou's 1969 autobiography, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings", is the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. In addition to that, in 1993, she recited an original poem “On The Pulse of The Morning” at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, we were once again reminded that we must push forward from dark times in order to have a bright future. Whether it’s racism, prejudice, or your own personal adversity. And while there will always be a hint of the past, we cannot let that bring us down.
Whether you started your life facing an overwhelming amount of adversity, or maybe had an easier one compared to others, your experiences can shape your life in a good way or you can allow it to mold you into negativity. What you chose to do with that is up to you. I would personally suffice to make something positive out of it because you never know if one day you’re going to be the person to make the world a better place. Even if at one point you felt isolated.
Dr. Maya Angelou. April 4th, 1928- May 28th, 2014. A woman who was not afraid to be outspoken about being a black woman here in America. Her voice and words traveled for over 50 years and taught us about what it truly means to be a strong woman of color. I truly admire her for her achievements and I hope one day to be as great as her.
“A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.” -Maya Angelou
We’ll be in touch.