Monday, June 2, 2014

In Case You Missed It....

We lost a wonderful woman and author.

Maya Angelou, 1928-2014

May 28, 2014:  Legendary author, poet, educator and all-around inspiration Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86.
103030_AngelouMaya_4As a chronicler of her own story and the larger civil rights movement in which she took part, Maya Angelou was remarkable in equal measure for her lyrical gifts as well as her distinct sense of justice, both politically and personally.
Angelou was among the first, if not the first, to create a literary franchise based on autobiographical writings. Beginning with the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and followed by Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, and A Song Flung Up to Heaven — Angelou told her life story in language both no-nonsense and intensely spiritual.
More unforgettable works by Angelou include the personal essays in Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey NowEven the Stars Look Lonesome, and Letter to my Daughterthe reflective Mom & Me & Momcookbooks like Hallelujah! The Welcome Table and Great Food, All Day Long and even books for kids, including the adventuresome Maya’s World series.

Angelou’s facility with language, both on paper and as a suede-voiced speaker, made her a populist poet. Her 1995 poem “Phenomenal Woman” is still passed along the Web among women as inspiration (“It’s in the reach of my arms/The span of my hips/The stride of my steps/The curl of my lips./I’m a woman/Phenomenally/Phenomenal woman/That’s me”), and her 1993 poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” written for Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration, was later released as a Grammy-winning album.
Angelou often cites other writers (from Kenzaburo Oe to James Baldwin) both in text and name. But as often as not, her major mentors were not writers — she had been set to work with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. before each was assassinated, stories she recounts in A Song Flung Up to Heaven.
Given her roller-coaster existence — from poverty in Arkansas to journalism in Egypt and Ghana and ultimately, to her destiny as a successful writer and professor in the States — it’s no surprise that Angelou didn’t limit herself to one or two genres. Angelou also wrote for stage and screen, acted, and directed. She is the rare author from whom inspiration can be derived both from her approach to life as from her talent in writing about it.
(Christina Nunez)
Good to Know
Angelou was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Nyo Boto in the 1977 miniseries Roots. She has also appeared in films such as How to Make an American Quilt and Poetic Justice, and she directed 1998’s Down in the Delta.
Angelou spoke six languages, including West African Fanti.
She taught modern dance at the Rome Opera House and the Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv.
Before she became famous as a writer, Maya Angelou was a singer. Miss Calypso is a CD of her singing calypso songs.

Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:

Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.

Guy B. Johnson

Our hearts and prayers are with her loved ones.. Maya will be missed. - Krissy's Bookshelf

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