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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.”



  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.

  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.

  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...

  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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