I wanted to begin Black History Month with a tribute to one of my personal heroes, Maya Angelou. She is one of the reasons I do what I do. Her poem, “Phenomenal Woman” touched me at an early age. She’s a memoirist that has revealed some of the deepest parts of herself through her writings. Her courage inspired me to write memoir. Not only is she writer, but she is a civil rights activist, actress, playwright, poet, teacher, and mother. She is the voice of women everywhere.
She was recently feautured on the OWN Networks “Master Class” series. Here’s what she had to say:
Becoming Who You Are Meant to Be
“What I think it really means is: I’m a teacher. I am a teacher. I teach all the time, as you do and as all of you do—whether we know it or not, whether we take responsibility for it or not. I hold nothing back because I want to see that light go off. I like to see the children say, ‘I never thought of that before.’ And I think, ‘I’ve got them!'” — Dr. Maya Angelou
Who You Really Are
“If a human being dreams a great dream, dares to love somebody; if a human being dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Malcolm X; if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born—it means so can you. And so you can try to stretch, stretch, stretch yourself so you can internalize, ‘Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.’ That’s one thing I’m learning.” — Dr. MayaAngelou
“I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you.
“I am the next Maya Angelou. I just taught my caged bird how to sing. She just can’t fly.” –SJB
Here’s another great photo I found of her with Malcolm X. Greatness at its best:).
Who inspires you????