After I read this post from veteran blogger Awesomely Luvvie, I immediately recalled Oprah’s 2013 interview with Maya Angelou discussing her 34th book about her mother. Then at age 85, Dr. Angelou talked about her special bond with her mother, Vivian Baxter. My mother was alive when I watched this interview, and I remember thinking how much the relationship between Maya and her mama reminded me of my relationship with my mother. Like Maya, my mother also wanted a daughter and almost gave up, before I arrived on the scene as her “only daughter” as she was fond of saying. So, as I salute these Shining Sistahs with Swords , these phenomenal woman of wisdom, I am especially reminded of how powerfully potent the last quote in this post truly is. Enjoy!
Maya Angelou: Rise in Power After Living in Purpose
Maya Angelou is gone and I was not ready. I wasn’t ready because I just figured Mother Maya would stay to give us more words. I figured she’d stay forever and just continue to be magic. I’m so selfish because she’s given more than enough.
I don’t think I have the right words to speak about Marguerite Johnson the Beloved. I don’t know if there is a right way to memorialize someone whose words are like life’s manual. What do you say about the woman who touched nations? What can articulate the impact of her being? I don’t even have the vocabulary for it.
Maya Angelou didn’t write poetry. She WAS poetry. Her whole being was in beautiful prose.
Maya is (not was) a Queen, especially to us Black girls. In her struggles you saw yours but in her power, you also found yours. In her vulnerability, you ached to let yours show and in her confidence, you fist pumped because yours could look like hers.
She told us revolutionary things, like we are worth love in every way. We can give it, we can receive it, and we can wear it like a coat and not be ashamed by it. That woman sat there and told the world “You will love me, even though you might not want to. You will deal!” And people did!
I can barely memorize 2 phone numbers but I’ve memorized plenty of things Dr. Maya Angelou said. Her words are like music because when you hear them, they speak straight to your heart. Before your brain even registers it, your chest swells. And your soul says “YESSSS! I needed that.”
As a woman, as a Black woman, as a writer, Maya told me I owed it to myself to live life loudly and boldly. It wasn’t just something I should do, it’s something I MUST do.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”
Maya Angelou walked in her purpose. That’s clear. So mourning her is really for our benefit. She did what she needed and wanted to, like Nelson Mandela and the other greats before her. She will never really die because she left her spirit behind in the work she’s done.
Watch the video below (from Maya’s LifeClass on OWN), and get your entire LIFE from Mother Maya’s wisdom.
My favorite quote from here is: “I have to know that the brute, the bigot and the batterer are all children of God, whether they know it or not.”
There’s power in knowing that you lived life well and good. Maya did that, and the caged bird is free.
What great things can be said about Maya Angelou that’ll suffice? None of it will be enough. But we speak her name with the utmost respect. Mother, Poet, Activist, Writer, Giver of Verbal Life, Dream Enabler, Giant, Goddess, Queen, Matron Saint of Get Life Right.
Mother Maya, girl. Listen. You phenomenal portrait of poise. You bombastically brilliant, bright, blazing symbol of bravery and goodness. You epic, life-affirming, life-changing, life-loving, life-living, luminous luminary.
Stay rising, sis. You did so good and we thank you for it. Rise rise rise in power.