I am reading this jewel of a book this morning for one of my classes. (ok… it’s Saturday so I am doing some work around the house so I have the audio on as well)
There are so many jewels that I am coming across in this text that I want to share some. Enjoy 🙂
“I learned to love my son without wanting to possess him and I learned how to teach him to teach himself.” – Maya Angelou
“I am convinced that people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.” – Maya Angelou
“Some entertainers have tried to make art of their coarseness. When they heap mud upon themselves and allow their tongues to wag with vulgarity, they expose their belief they are not worth loving.” Maya Angelou
“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights. I maintain an attitude or gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.” Maya Angelou
Their words inspire internationally. Boldly illustrate the colors of political change and voices options in curing our societal ills. Our fractured diction has been preserved through early works of Sonia Sanchez’s, “We a baddDDD People“. Maya Angelou spoke honestly for being sexually irresponsible as she grew to conquer her mystery as a woman in “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie“. And Ntozake Shange and June Jordan re-defined the writing style known as prose with lengthy poetic pieces. These two could quite easily and possibly be credited for the birth of “performance poetry.” I dare say we unanimously agree that these women join the ranks of men who taught us through their works the tools to envelop a devoted love for our community, children, and self love. Now, as I take on ownership of their continued path, I get lost for direction when it comes to being a selfless artist and balancing a successful relationship simultaneously. They didn’t write that down for me! Is it perhaps because they are all divorced and never remarried themselves? Do they know the answer? So… I wanna’ talk about it…
Why are all my sheroes single?
I have not found the poem or story that tells me how to be a vulnerable artist for a voice of people and then sincerely transform into his confidante and lover. The consistent downfall of my relationships are me not being afforded the space and freedom I need to be an artist. The process is very selfish and my partners understand that only 45% of the time. The other 55% is spent with their conscious or unconscious repeated attempts of trying to get to the root of my creative power. If I can’t practice my art with the space I need, I’m half a person. Which means he’ll only be getting half too, then we’re both unhappy and it ends.
“In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons. The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity.” Maya Angelou
“My soul should always look back and wonder at the mountains I had climbed and the rivers I had forged and the challenges which still await down the road. I am strengthened by that knowledge.” Maya Angelou
When she was once being “timidly attacked” by a Hollywood producer who was interested in developing one of her short stories into a television show: “I promise you, you do not want me as your adversary because, once I feel myself under threat, I fight to win, and in that case I will forget that I am thirty years older than you, with a reputation for being passionate.” Maya Angelou
she continued in this chapter:
“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.” Maya Angelou
“Racism still rages behind many smiling faces, and women are still spoken of in some circles, as conveniently pretty vessels. Macon, Georgia is down south, New York City is up south. Blithering ignorance can be found wherever you choose to live.” Maya Angelou
“Southern themes will range from generous and luscious love to cruel and bitter hate, but no one can ever claim that the South is petty or indifferent. [In the south] black people walk with an air which implies “when I walk in, they may like me or dislike me, but everybody knows I’m here.” Maya Angelou
1) Although Angelou writes almost exclusively for African Americans, she has a huge following from other races. Why do you think this is?
The Honorable Mother Maya writes from her experience as a human being first. Yes, I know that sounds cliche’-ish… “same-ing”, if you will, the initiation of a struggling explanation, but if one listened to ‘Mother-Sister’, you can sense what was an insistent appetency to set right and at the same time comfort in her addressing us… all of us. Although her literary gifts to us were addressed from a woman’s eyes, simply because she was one, she was the glowing and towering, vibrant, flowing seductive and insistent, yet sweetly confident member of this human race first and wanted us all to feel that same sublime rendering of naked and free’d expression of self.
Little girls, givers of life- [where her story and destiny begins] come in all colors and influences and each deserves love and encouraging and protecting. If the opposite is present, the difference dissipates and only the commonality of pain and tragedy, joy and ascending, remain- none of which is specific to any particular race, opinion, or culture. Her living is / was certainly on common ground with the human spirit set in each of us regardless of our location or station or not; as well as her truths. That kind of naked, bold, unencumbered, raw, vivid, biting and sometimes seducing caressing, and loving truth in her writing, sets us all on common playing ground.
How would you characterize Angelou’s style – her language, her tone, her choice of metaphors, and so on?
Continue reading Gifts for Mother Maya by Reverdia da’ River Woman