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Saturday, April 08, 2017

Maya Angelo

In my mostly white community in western Pennsylvania I don’t get to experience a lot of diversity. All I know about black people is what I see on television  and some vague memories of my grandparents’ attitudes in rural Georgia. I’ve never had a black friend or been exposed to black culture. I am not at all prejudice for how can you be against something you don’t know anything about? For me blackness is just like being more tan. Color doesn’t matter. I lived through the civil rights movement but felt very isolated from all that was happening in cities.

 

 

   I think Oprah was the first black woman who had any effect on my life at all. I sucked up her wisdom like lemonade through a straw. She was down to earth and so caring about the people she had on her show that everyday I made it a point to tune into the Oprah show on television. She had a profound influence on the way I thought about black people. (I am sorry not to be politically correct by calling them African Americans but I don’t think of black as an insult but a source of pride.) It was from her that I first encountered Maya Angelo. She was Oprah’s mentor and seemed like the wisest woman I had ever seen. When I read about her and her accomplishments I knew that we need people like that on this Earth.

She could laugh at herself and my favorite quote from her is:

”Do the best until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

 

4 comments :

  1. So glad you posted this. A world without Maya here is just not the same but she had such an influence on so many of us that it surely must be a better world than before.

    She was such a beautiful lady in every meaning of the word but I never realized what an amazingly gifted woman she was until I recently read her I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

    I'm so thankful for her life.

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  2. my first introduction to her was in reading her autobiography 'I know why the caged bird sings.'
    she had a presence about her that was so unique. she just got better with age. her loss brought tears to my eyes.
    i got to know many blacks (i like what you say about black as a point of pride) when i worked at the large convention center and hotel. several became close friends. i was invited to their homes on some holidays. so much fun! and much laughter! they were simply my co~workers and we cared for each other.
    maybe someday it will all come 'round right.

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  3. I would really be happy if we no longer labeled anyone...we are "HUMAN BEINGS" "WE ARE ALL CREATED AS ONE". If only, this can happen...soon. Instead of a black, Hispanic, white, Muslims, Asians did such and such...just say either their name or simple "this person...

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  4. Ahh! This is where my internet went down the other night. Maya Angelou is one of my heroines. One of my favorite quotes of hers (well I guess I DO have favorite quotes) is: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” This quote gives me great comfort, and I continue to have lots of room for improvement!

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