Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Life-whirlwind Maya Angelou

By nr39r Jun20,2024
News

Crucial The American poet and civil rights pioneer reflects on her theatrical debut in “Singing, swinging, partying like Christmas,” a fast-paced narrative that hasn’t been released in France yet.

The world has lost a little bit of its brightness with the passing of the extraordinary Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), yet her legacy lives on as a bright source of bravery, strength, and spiritual beauty. In a 1977 interview with journalist Judith Rich that can be found in Conversations with Maya Angelou (public library), the same amazing book that brought us the beloved author’s conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom, Angelou tackles identity and the meaning of life. In this interview, Angelou’s timeless wisdom shines with unmatched light.

When Angelou looks back on her life, she informs Rich that she was raped at the age of eight, came from a turbulent working-class home, and was only able to become well-known because of her brilliance and unwavering character.

I’ve had a lot of good fortune. I appear to be rather blind. I just don’t let too many bad things get to me. I’m incredibly fortunate. In the majority of the places I have lived, the stages I have gone through, and the spaces I have occupied, I have appeared quite unusual. Naturally, I grew up with my grandma; both my brother and her people are incredibly beautiful, black people. Furthermore, my mother’s family was extremely fair. I was never really one of them. I was too tall. My tone was very deep. My demeanor was either overly conceited or overly caring. I would therefore have died if I had taken the bad feedback about how I appeared to be taken seriously. However, I accepted it and thought, “Well, don’t I feel like the lucky one?”

Later, she returns to the issue of identity, evoking Leo Buscaglia’s lovely contemplation on labels, as she considers the attention her success has brought her and the accompanying responsibilities:

In actuality, I really try very hard to portray who I am every time I enter that hotel room. That’s my goal right now. Most of the time, I fail to recognize that I do not speak for tall women, black women, Sonoman women, Californian women, or Americans. Or rather, since I am all those things, I hope I do. I am more than that, though. All of that, more or less, is who I am. Labels are frequently applied to individuals in order to avoid dealing with the physical reality of those persons. Saying something like “that’s a honkie, that’s a Jew, that’s a junkie,” “that’s a broad,” “that’s a stud,” or “that’s a dude” is simple. Thus, you don’t need to consider if this person is a Christmas enthusiast. Is he worried about the Easter Bunny getting contaminated? .. I reject that. I just won’t allow my life to be limited and controlled.

Undoubtedly, underneath Angelou’s incredible optimism and grace comes the difficult reality she had to face. When she thinks back on her early years, she recalls an incident that is all too common to people who start life with less privilege than others:

It’s really difficult to be a young, inquisitive, and nearly narcissistic about one’s intelligence while lacking any formal education, guidance, or open doors. to approach a door in metaphor and discover that it lacks a doorknob.

Nevertheless, Angelou expresses her sincere gratitude for the generosity of people who helped her on her path toward spirituality and creativity. Recalling the Jewish rabbi who, many years after a major surgery, appeared at her hospital bedside to offer her advice in philosophy and faith, Angelou tells Rich:

The gestures of generosity I will always remember them. Thus, they prevent one from growing resentful. They exhort you to be as ferocious and forceful as it takes to create a just world. People who have generously given me so much, and continue to do so, are passionate about them. Additionally, they feed my desire. My temper is in good shape, which is a great blessing. I have never been bitter, although I can get really furious and burning with rage at times. An awful, corrosive acid is bitterness. It simply consumes you and renders you ill.

At the conclusion of the interview, Maya Angelou muses on the meaning of life. Her reflection is all the more moving in light of how brilliantly she personified the wisdom of her own words in the wake of her passing.

Life seems to love its liver, at least that’s how I’ve always felt. You must move on, and life will treat you well and provide you with experiences. Although they might not all be very nice, you weren’t promised a rose garden. But if you do take a chance, you will probably get amazing rewards. The virtue of bravery is arguably the most crucial since it is the only one that allows one to practice the other virtues—namely, the ability to say, “I oppose your murdering,” in the face of a society that is full of murderers. To achieve that, you must possess bravery. I appear to have known that for a very long time and was really happy about it.

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