Photo courtesy of flickr, Janet Hennessey
Today’s “Fearless Women Friday” honors the life and legacy of the extraordinary activist, poet and performer, Maya Angelou.
I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Angelou’s lecture in Seattle several years ago. Long after her beautiful, bold words washed over us, the memory of her resonant voice – that voice! – along with her laughter and radiance remains. She was a phenomenal woman, however you define the word. In her life-affirming poem, she found it in the stride of her step, the fire in her eyes and the joy in her feet. No small feat when you consider her sexual abuse as a child and the silent years that followed. Not to mention raising a child as a single mother following teenage pregnancy. Or living through the violence of racial discrimination resulting in the assassinations of two of her closest allies in the fight against bigotry, Malcolm X and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
And still this phenomenal woman rises . . . And how! Miss Maya Angelou went on to become a celebrated woman of letters, a true “Global Renaissance Woman,” fluent in several languages, renown poet, novelist, memoirist, dramatist, outspoken civil rights activist. . . The list goes on. In writing my post for International Women’s Day, it became apparent how many of my favorite quotes are attributed to Maya Angelou. My entire post could have included her quotes alone. Here are a few more of her eloquent words that didn’t make it into my earlier post:
“I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved.”
“The idea of overcoming is always fascinating to me. It’s fascinating because few of us realize how much energy we have expended just to be here today. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for the overcoming.”
“The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
And so many more . . .
Thank you, Maya Angelou, for living your life out loud. Your grace, wisdom and humanity shine a bold light, a path for the rest of us to follow.
What about you wanderboomers? What’s your favorite memory or quote by Dr. Maya Angelou?