Sometimes I have to go dig around for a saint of the week, and sometimes life just hands you the obvious option. This week we lost a great lady who I’m sure has used her words to touch us all in one way or another. Her words spoke truth and inspired us in good times and tough times. She rose from a childhood where she refused to speak for nearly six years, to giving birth at the age of 17 and working a series of jobs from a streetcar conductor to prostitute. She would sing, dance and perform in a European tour of Porgy and Bess. Eventually she would be encouraged to write and would pen her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
This week’s saint is Maya Angelou who died this past Wednesday, May 28th.
You can read all about the life of Maya Angelou all over the internet. Here are a few articles that caught my eye this week:
- Relevant Magazine – The Legacy of Maya Angelou
- Huffington Post – Maya Angelou’s Faith Made Her A Courageous ‘Child Of God’
- The Guardian – Maya Angelou’s majesty, according to you: ‘how can you love someone if you don’t love yourself?’
- Wikipedia – Maya Angelou
I’m sure you can find others. Rather than spend time recounting her life though, I thought it more appropriate to focus on her words. Here are a few videos of Maya Angelou reciting her poems and some interviews. Spend some time today to remember and become familiar with the powerful words of Maya Angelou.
Still I Rise
“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 rise.”
Maya speaking about the beauty of language and poetry
“Words meant so much to me, I am intertwined with them.”
I Am Human
“The brute, the bigot and the batterer are all children of God. And I’m supposed to treat them accordingly.”
A Conversation With Nell Irvin Painter & Maya Angelou
“I will not allow anyone to narrow the tunnel of my life.”
On the Pulse of the Morning
“Come, clad in peace, and I will sing the songs the creator gave to me when I and the tree and the rock were one.”
The Revelation That Changed Dr. Maya Angelou’s Life
“It’s amazing, I can do anything and do it well. Any good thing I can do it. That’s why I’m who I am. Yes, because God loves me and I’m amazed at it.”
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Interview in USA TODAY (March 5, 1988)