Latest posts by Bryanna Briley (see all)
- How Exceptional Black Women Lead — A Conversation With Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever
Dr. DeWeever’s latest book helps black women realize their full potential- June 12, 2018
- Nick Cave’s Soundsuits Confront Racism With Radical Artistry [Video]
An exhibition entitled “Here Hear” was previously on display at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Detroit, close to Cave’s alma mater.- October 17, 2016
- Body PositiveSpeaker Malia Anderson Talks Passion, Perseverance and Paying It Forward
“What if I just woke up every morning and said ‘This is my body and I love it.’ and then I went out the door and presented myself in the best possible way?”- October 9, 2016
Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, was a renowned American poet. At age 16, after having dropped out of school, she was the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. In the 1950s she danced in Porgy and Bess, a nationwide tour of George Gershwin’s opera about American poverty and racism. She even wrote Hallmark greeting cards, saying “If I’m America’s poet, or one of them, then I want to be in people’s hands…people who would never buy a book.”
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts. Though she never went to college, she received over fifty honorary degrees. She was a friend of Malcom X and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. She spoke six languages and worked as an editor in both Egypt and Ghana.
Most remarkably, she was a self-made woman. As Oprah Winfrey, a dear friend of hers said “She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace.” Perhaps Angelou’s own words best detail the legacy she’s left behind:
“Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
A more thorough history can be found at mayaangelou.com.