Nuwe resepte

Ek weet wat die hokvoël kook: onthou Maya Angelou

Ek weet wat die hokvoël kook: onthou Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou was 'n vrou met baie talente en ambisies, insluitend haar liefde vir kook.

Dr Maya Angelou is vanoggend oorlede op die ouderdom van 86. Sy was waarskynlik een van die mees ikoniese literêre stemme van die 20ste eeu, uit haar mondigwording-herinnering, Ek weet hoekom die hokvoël sing, tot meer as 'n dosyn poësieboeke, sowel as die enigste digter wat 'n Amerikaanse president gekies het om 'n gedig te skryf wat spesifiek was vir sy presidensiële inhuldiging (president Clinton in 1993). Dr Angelou was ook 'n prominente leier van die Burgerregtebeweging en het saam met Martin Luther King, Jr. en Malcom X gewerk.

Wat baie mense nie weet nie, is dat dr. Angelou ook 'n talentvolle huiskok en kookboekskrywer was, en dat dit baie waardeer om mense by die etenstafel bymekaar te bring net soos haar skryfwerk.

'Op 'n stadium beskryf ek myself as 'n kok, 'n bestuurder en 'n skrywer', het dr. Angelou in haar kookboek geskryfHeerlike kos die hele dag lank.” 'Ek ry nie meer nie, maar ek skryf nog steeds en kook steeds. En nadat ek die heerlike ouderdom van een-en-tagtig bereik het, besef ek dat ek ander mense lankal gevoed en geëet het. Ek het amper my hele lewe lank gekook, en daarom het ek 'n paar filosofieë ontwikkel. "

Dr Angelou het 'n groot deel van haar lewe met haar gewig en in haar gesukkel memoir kookboeke sy het gepraat oor haar eie dramatiese gewigsverlies, deur die leer van porsiebeheer terwyl sy nog steeds in die suidelike sielskos gesmul het.

In 'n NPR artikel in 2010 het sy gesê dat 'die beste kookkuns die reëls ignoreer'. Van haar grensbreukende skryfwerk, tot haar rol as die eerste swart vroulike spoorwegdirigent, dr. Angelou se benadering tot kookkuns het beslis in alle aspekte van haar lewe ingedrink.

Vier die lewe van dr. Angelou deur een van haar gedigte te lees, of deur haar resep te probeer goeie outydse aartappelslaai.

Joanna Fantozzi is 'n mede -redakteur van The Daily Meal. Volg haar op Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Vryheid as die hoofboodskap in Ek weet hoekom die hokvoël sing deur Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is gebore volgens die Poetry Foundation, “in Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri op 4 April 1928. Sy was 'n vroulike Afro-Amerikaanse digter, storieverteller, aktivis en outobiograaf. Haar gedig "Caged Bird" is in 1969 geskryf, en dit was haar mees erkende gedig ". Hierdie gedig het baie moontlike verklarings, afhangende van watter konteks u gaan. Maar daar is net een teorie wat naby is aan wat Maya geleef het. Volgens Poetry Foundation, "in een van die mees aanloklike (en omstrede) oomblikke beskryf Angelou hoe sy eers geknuffel is en daarna deur haar ma se kêrel verkrag is toe sy net sewe jaar oud was". Myns insiens verklaar haar gevoelens dat sy voortdurend deur hierdie persoon geteister word waarom sy so vasgevang was in hierdie atmosfeer en hoe sy haar voorgestel het dat sy 'n vrye lewe sou hê. Dit kan ondersteun word deur die eerste strofe van die gedig waarin sy beskryf hoe 'n persoon, in hierdie geval, 'n voël, vry is sonder beperkings en geen manier kan stop of na die droom kan gaan nie. In teenstelling hiermee is 'n hokvoël die een wat in daardie klein ruimte vasgevang is sonder om te kan vlieg of homself uit te druk. Dit is ook 'n teken van wat Afro-Amerikaners in daardie tyd geleef het, waar wit mense die vrye uitdrukking van swart mense mishandel het. Met ander woorde, die hele konteks van die gedig is gebaseer op die term 'vryheid' en wat sou gebeur in die lewe daarsonder.

Die kontras van die hele gedig, soos ek vroeër gesê het, die verskil tussen 'n vrye voël en 'n hokvoël is dat die vrye voël geen beperkinge het nie en sy gevoelens kan uitdruk terwyl 'n hokvoël vasgevang en meer geïsoleer of geïgnoreer word. In hierdie geval spreek die skrywer haar eie gevoelens uit oor hoe sy gevoel het toe sy grootgeword het in 'n rowwe lewe en die rasse -oppergesag. 'N Ander belangrike opmerking van hierdie gedig is dat dit baie simbolies is in terme van' gratis voël ', 'n gevoel van vryheid, soos ek vroeër gesê het. Dit is ook soortgelyk aan die 'wit duif', wat vrede en rustigheid is. Die skrywer spreek haar gevoelens uit oor wat 'n vrye voël kan doen. Sommige sleutelwoorde hiervan is "sprong", "dips", "helder", ens. In die ander konteks verduidelik sy hokvoël as iets gruweliks, soos woorde soos "woede", "angswekkende tril", "nagmerrie", ens. 'N Ander belangrike opmerking is dat daar 'n redelik ironiese term is waar die skrywer sê: "Die hokvoël sing", wat die teenoorgestelde is, want die vryvoël is die een wat veronderstel is om te sing. Maar die voël in die hok sing 'n 'angstige tril', wat in hierdie geval meer soos 'n woedende kreet vir vryheid is. 'N Ander boodskap wat die gedig kan oordra, afgesien van die hele mishandeling van swart mense en hoe die skrywer gevoel het met die mishandeling van haar ma se kêrel, kan wees oor hoe vroue destyds behandel is, as hulle gedink het dat vroue slegs toegelaat word om te sorg vir kinders, kook, skoonmaak, 'n tipiese huisvrou. As die vroue uit die regime sou gaan, sou dit baie gevolge hê, en daarom was haar vryheid meer beperk. Daar is baie boodskappe wat hierdie gedig kan wys, aangesien die hele onderwerp van hierdie gedig is dat daar mense is wat meer vryheid het as ander. 'N Paar ander voorbeelde kan die konsep van godsdiens wees, as mense beperk is tot 'n soort dinge, of selfs in die LGBT -gemeenskap, as daar nog mense is wat hulle godsdienstig diskrimineer en mense binne die gemeenskap vasgevang voel, en daar is so nog vele meer voorbeelde wat die boodskap van die gedig kan verduidelik.

Ten slotte, die hele punt wat die skrywer, Maya Angelou, oorgedra het, is dat vryheid iets baie belangrik is in ons samelewing. Niemand verdien om 'ingehok' te word of vasgevang te wees met beperkings om te doen wat hulle wil of wat hulle droom om te wees nie. Selfs as hulle in 'n hok is, het hulle steeds hoop en drome wat wag om vervul te word. Hierdie gedig gee ons nie net 'n standpunt in die wêreld om ons te laat hoor en uiting te gee nie, maar dit gee ons ook 'n rustige denke dat ons aanvaar kan word, en ons kan vry wees van gedagtes en gevoelens sonder om beperkings te doen dinge wat ons hoop om te doen. Ons moet ook nie toelaat dat vrees die drome is nie, maar laat dit die een wees wat u motiveer om te doen wat 'n vrye voël kan doen.


Onthou Maya Angelou

Februarie is die maand waarin die Verenigde State die prestasies van Afro -Amerikaners, oftewel Black History Month, vier. Toe ek grootgeword het, het ek nooit van die titel gehou nie. Swart geskiedenismaand impliseer blykbaar dat Amerika twee heeltemal aparte geskiedenis het, wit geskiedenis (wat op skool geleer is) en swart geskiedenis. Namate ek ouer geword het, het ek geleer om te besef dat daar in Februarie die klem val op die prestasies van swartes in hierdie land. Ek wil 'n rukkie neem om een ​​van die swart outeurs wat my beïnvloed het uit te lig.

Maya Angelou was 'n Amerikaanse digter, sanger en aktivis. Haar lys gedigte, essays, outobiografieë en toneelstukke strek oor meer as vyftig jaar. Ek onthou toe ek as kind gekyk het, Ek weet hoekom die hokvoël sing op televisie. Dit was 'n aangrypende, outobiografiese verhaal van haar vroeë lewe, rassisme, verkragting en die gebeure wat haar vir byna vyf jaar feitlik stom gemaak het. Die mees kritieke punt in haar vroeë verhaal (ten minste vir my) was egter hoe sy haar stem deur middel van literatuur gevind het en haar stem kon gebruik om 'n verskil te maak. Ek was gelukkig om mevrou Angelou live te kon hoor optree en so wonderlik soos haar geskrewe woorde was, dit was selfs beter as dit lewendig gelees is. Daardie aand lees sy. Sy het gesing. Sy vertel stories van haar dae tydens die burgerregte -oomblikke en sy lag. Sy het 'n ervaring geskep wat ek meer as dertig jaar later onthou. Ek dink dit was die ervaring wat ek probeer herskep het in my RJ Franklin Mystery Series. Sy sing die spirituals wat sy in die kerk gesing het en die liedjies wat die burgerregte -aktivis gesing het, onderweg na hul volgende optog. Die RJ Franklin Mystery Series het dus Negro Spirituals. Die titels is geneem uit die liedjies en die lirieke vertel van die kultuur en die gees van die mense. Mense wat daarin slaag om te sing deur slawerny deur segregasie en diskriminasie en deur swaarkry. Ongeag watter struikelblokke hulle in die gesig gestaar het, of hoe ander probeer het om hulle vas te hou, hulle het opgestaan ​​en aanhou opstaan. Daardie aand het mevrou Angelou my trots en warm laat voel. Haar woorde vul my siel en draai soos 'n kombers om my. Miskien is dit die rede waarom Mama B altyd kook en probeer om die siele (en die buik) van die mense om haar te vul. Net soos Maya Angelou, is Mama B en Paris Williams albei fenomenale vroue op hul eie manier.


Ek weet hoekom die hokvoël sing, p.15

Die dae het langer en meer opvallend geword. Die verbleikte beige van vroeër tye is vervang met sterk en seker kleure. Ek het die klere van my klasmaats, hul velkleur en die stof wat van poeswille afgewaai het, begin sien. Wolke wat deur die lug lui, was vir my baie kommerwekkend. Hulle meer vorms het moontlik 'n boodskap gehad wat ek in my nuwe geluk en met 'n bietjie tyd gou sou ontsyfer. Gedurende daardie tydperk kyk ek na die hemelboog, so godsdienstig dat my nek konstant pyn. Ek het meer gereeld begin glimlag, en my kake was seer as gevolg van die ongewone aktiwiteit. Tussen die twee fisiese seer kolle, dink ek, kon ek ongemaklik gewees het, maar dit was nie die geval nie. As lid van die wenspan (die gradeplegtigheidsklas van 1940) het ek onaangename sensasies kilometers ver oorskry. Ek was op pad na die vryheid van oop velde.

Jeug en maatskaplike goedkeuring het by my aangesluit en ons herinner ons aan herinneringe aan slegte dinge en beledigings. Die wind van ons vinnige gang herbou my kenmerke. Verlore trane is gestamp tot modder en dan tot stof. Jare se onttrekking is opsy gesit en agtergelaat, as hangende toue van parasitiese mos.

My werk alleen het my 'n topposisie gegee en ek sou een van die eerstes wees wat tydens die gradeplegtighede belê is. Op die swartbord, sowel as op die bord in die ouditorium, was daar blou sterre en wit sterre en rooi sterre. Geen afwesighede, geen traagheid nie, en my akademiese werk was een van die beste van die jaar. Ek kan die aanhef tot die Grondwet selfs vinniger as Bailey sê. Ons het onsself gereeld afgespeel: 'Ons mense in die Verenigde State in ooreenstemming met 'n amptelike funksie'.

My hare het my ook behaag. Geleidelik het die swart massa verleng en verdik, sodat dit uiteindelik by sy gevlegte patroon bly, en ek nie my kopvel hoef af te trek toe ek dit probeer kam nie.

Ek en Louise het die oefeninge geoefen totdat ons self moeg was. Henry Reed was 'n klas -valedictorian. Hy was 'n klein, baie swart seuntjie met oë met kappies, 'n lang, breë neus en 'n vreemd gevormde kop. Ek het hom al jare bewonder, want elke kwartaal het ek en hy die beste grade in ons klas meegeding. Dikwels het hy my die beste gekry, maar in plaas daarvan om teleurgesteld te wees, was ek bly dat ons die beste plekke tussen ons gedeel het. Soos baie suidelike swart kinders, het hy by sy ouma gewoon, wat so streng soos Mamma was en so vriendelik soos sy weet hoe om te wees. Hy was beleefd, respekvol en saggeaard teenoor ouderlinge, maar op die speelgrond het hy gekies om die moeilikste speletjies te speel. Ek het hom bewonder. Enigiemand, het ek gereken, voldoende bang of genoeg dof, kan beleefd wees. Maar om op 'n topvlak met beide volwassenes en kinders te kon funksioneer, was bewonderenswaardig.

Sy woordspraak was getiteld “To Be or Not to Be”. Die rigiede tiende graad onderwyser het hom gehelp om dit te skryf. Hy werk al maande lank aan die dramatiese spanning.

Die weke tot die gradeplegtigheid was gevul met opwindende aktiwiteite. 'N Groep klein kinders sou aangebied word in 'n toneelstuk oor botterblommetjies en madeliefies en hase. Hulle kon regdeur die gebou gehoor word terwyl hulle hul hoep oefen en hul liedjies wat soos silwer klokkies klink. Die ouer meisies (natuurlik nie -gegradueerdes) het die taak gekry om verversings te maak vir die nag se feeste. 'N Smaaklike geur van gemmer, kaneel, neutmuskaat en sjokolade woel om die huishoudelike gebou terwyl die ontluikende kokke monsters vir hulself en hul onderwysers maak.

In elke uithoek van die werkswinkel het byle en saag vars hout gesny terwyl die houtwinkels se stelle maak en die natuurskoon oprig. Slegs die gegradueerdes is uit die algemene gewoel gelaat. Ons was vry om in die biblioteek aan die agterkant van die gebou te sit of natuurlik heeltemal los te kyk na die maatreëls wat vir ons geleentheid geneem is.

Selfs die predikant preek die gradeplegtigheid die Sondag tevore. Sy onderwerp was: "Laat u lig so skyn dat mense u goeie werke sal sien en u Vader wat in die hemele is, prys." Alhoewel die preek na bewering aan ons gerig was, gebruik hy die geleentheid om met terugvallers, dobbelaars en algemene ne-do-wells te praat. Maar aangesien hy ons name aan die begin van die diens genoem het, is ons versag.

Onder negers was die tradisie om geskenke te gee aan kinders wat slegs van die een graad na die ander gaan. Hoeveel belangriker was dit toe die persoon aan die top van die klas studeer. Oom Willie en Mamma het weggestuur vir 'n Mickey Mouse -horlosie soos Bailey. Louise het vir my vier geborduurde sakdoeke gegee. (Ek het haar drie gehekelde doekies gegee.) Mevrou Sneed, die vrou van die predikant, het vir my 'n onderrok gemaak om vir die gradeplegtigheid te dra, en byna elke kliënt het my 'n nikkel of selfs 'n sent gegee met die opdrag "Hou aan om hoër te gaan, "Of so 'n aanmoediging.

Ongelooflik breek die wonderlike dag uiteindelik aan en ek is uit die bed voor ek dit weet. Ek het die agterdeur oopgemaak om dit duideliker te sien, maar Mamma het gesê: 'Suster, kom weg van die deur en trek u kleed aan.'

Ek het gehoop dat die herinnering aan daardie oggend my nooit sou verlaat nie. Sonlig was self nog jonk, en die dag sou nie hê dat volwassenheid dit binne 'n paar uur sou bring nie. In my kleed en kaalvoet in die agterplaas, onder die dekmantel om na my nuwe boontjies te gaan kyk, het ek my oorgegee aan die sagte warmte en God gedank dat hy my ook al toegelaat het om te sien hoe kwaad ek ook al in my lewe gedoen het hierdie dag. Iewers in my fatalisme het ek verwag dat ek per ongeluk sou sterf en nooit die kans kon kry om die trap op te loop in die ouditorium en grasieus my swaarverdiende diploma te ontvang nie. Uit God se genadige boesem het ek berou gekry.

Bailey het in sy kleed uitgekom en vir my 'n boks gegee wat in Kerspapier toegedraai was. Hy het gesê dat hy sy geld maande lank gespaar het om daarvoor te betaal. Dit het soos 'n boks sjokolade gevoel, maar ek het geweet dat Bailey nie geld sou spaar om lekkergoed te koop as ons alles onder ons neus kon hê nie.

Hy was net so trots op die geskenk as ek. Dit was 'n kopie van 'n sagte leer gebind van 'n digbundel van Edgar Allan Poe, of, soos ek en Bailey hom 'Eap' genoem het. Ek draai na "Annabel Lee" en ons stap op en af ​​in die tuinrye, die koel vuil tussen ons tone, en lees die pragtig hartseer lyne.

Mamma het 'n Sondagontbyt gemaak, hoewel dit eers Vrydag was. Nadat ons klaar was met die seën, het ek my oë oopgemaak om die horlosie op my bord te vind. Dit was 'n droom van 'n dag. Alles het glad verloop en tot my eer. Ek hoef vir niks daaraan herinner te word nie. Teen die aand was ek te bekommerd om take te verrig, en Bailey het vrywillig alles gedoen voor sy bad.

Dae tevore het ons 'n bordjie vir die winkel gemaak, en toe ons die ligte uitdraai, het Mamma die karton oor die deurknop gehang. Dit lees duidelik: GESLUIT. GRADUERING.

My rok pas perfek en almal sê dat ek soos 'n sonstraal daarin lyk. Op die heuwel, in die rigting van die skool, stap Bailey agtertoe met oom Willie, wat mompel: "Gaan aan, Ju." Hy wou hê dat hy saam met ons moes stap, want dit het hom in die verleentheid gestel om so stadig te moes stap. Bailey het gesê dat hy die dames saam kon laat loop, en die mans sou agterop kom. Ons het almal lekker gelag.

Klein kindertjies vlieg uit die donker soos vuurvliegies. Hulle crêpapier-rokke en vlindervlerke is nie gemaak om te hardloop nie, en ons hoor meer as een skeur, droog en die spyt wat daarop volg.

Die skool brand sonder opgewondenheid. Die vensters lyk koud en onvriendelik vanaf die onderste heuwel. 'N Gevoel van 'n ongelukkige tydsberekening kruip oor my, en as Mamma nie na my hand gestrek het nie, sou ek teruggegaan het na Bailey en oom Willie, en moontlik verder. Sy maak 'n paar stadige grappe oor my voete wat koud word, en sleep my saam na die vreemde gebou.

Om die voorste trappe kom die versekering terug. Daar was my mede -“grotes”, die afgestudeerde klas. Hare teruggeborsel, bene geolied, nuwe rokke en geplooide plooie, vars sakdoeke en klein handsakke, alles tuisgemaak. O, ons was besig om te snuif, goed. Ek het by my kamerade aangesluit en het nie eens gesien hoe my gesin ingaan om sitplekke in die stampvol ouditorium te vind nie.

Die skoolgroep het 'n optog begin en alle klasse het ingeskryf soos geoefen. Ons staan ​​voor ons sitplekke, soos opgedra, en op 'n sein van die koorleier sit ons. Dit is nie gou reggekry nie, maar die orkes het die volkslied begin speel. Ons het weer opgestaan ​​en die lied gesing, waarna ons die belofte van trou opgesê het. Ons het 'n kort minuut bly staan ​​voordat die koorleier en die skoolhoof vir ons beduie, nogal wanhopig, het ek gedink, ons
sitplekke. Die opdrag was so ongewoon dat ons sorgvuldig ingeoefende en gladde masjien afgegooi is. 'N Hele minuut vroetel ons na ons stoele en stamp mekaar ongemaklik. Gewoontes verander of stol onder druk, so in ons toestand van senuweespanning was ons gereed om ons gewone samestelling te volg: die Amerikaanse volkslied, dan die troubelofte, dan die liedjie wat elke Swart persoon wat ek geken het, die Negro National Anthem genoem het. Alles gedoen in dieselfde sleutel, met dieselfde passie en meestal op dieselfde voet.

Toe ek uiteindelik my sitplek kry, was ek oorweldig deur 'n voorstelling van erger dinge wat sou kom. Iets wat nie ingeoefen is nie, onbeplan, gaan gebeur, en ons moet sleg laat lyk. Ek onthou duidelik dat ek eksplisiet was in die keuse van voornaamwoord. Dit was “ons”, die afstudeerklas, die eenheid, wat my toe bekommer het.

Die skoolhoof het “ouers en vriende” verwelkom en die Baptiste -predikant gevra om ons in gebed te lei. Sy oproep was kort en stewig, en vir 'n oomblik het ek gedink dat ons weer op pad is na die regte aksie. Maar toe die skoolhoof terugkom by die pouse, het sy stem egter verander. Klanke het my altyd diep geraak en die skoolhoof se stem was een van my gunstelinge. Tydens die byeenkoms het dit gesmelt en swak in die gehoor gedaal. Dit was nie my plan om na hom te luister nie, maar my nuuskierigheid was prikkel en ek het regop gekom om my aandag te gee.

Hy het gepraat oor Booker T. Washington, ons 'ontslape groot leier', wat gesê het dat ons so naby as die vingers op die hand kan wees, ens ... Toe sê hy 'n paar vae dinge oor vriendskap en vriendskap van vriendelike mense. minder gelukkig as hulself. Daarmee vervaag sy stem amper, maer, weg. Soos 'n rivier wat afneem na 'n stroom en dan tot 'n druppel. Maar hy maak keel skoon en sê: 'Ons spreker vanaand, wat ook ons ​​vriend is, kom uit Texarkana om die aanvangsrede te lewer, maar as gevolg van die onreëlmatigheid van die treindiens, sal hy, soos hulle sê,' praat en hardloop ' '' Hy het gesê dat ons dit verstaan ​​en wou hê dat die man moet weet dat ons die meeste dankbaar is vir die tyd wat hy ons kon gee, en dan iets oor hoe ons altyd bereid was om aan te pas by 'n ander se program, en sonder meer: ​​'Ek gee u die heer Edward Donleavy. ”

Nie een nie, maar twee wit mans het by die deur uit die verhoog gekom. Die korter stap na die luidspreker se platform, en die lang een beweeg na die middelste sitplek en gaan sit. Maar dit was ons skoolhoof se sitplek, en reeds beset. Die verdwaalde meneer wip vir 'n lang asem of twee voordat die Baptiste predikant hom sy stoel gee, en met meer waardigheid as wat die situasie verdien het, stap die predikant van die verhoog af.

Donleavy kyk een keer na die gehoor (by nadenke, ek is seker dat hy net wou verseker dat ons regtig daar was), het sy bril aangepas en begin lees uit 'n rits papiere.

Hy was bly “om hier te wees en om te sien hoe die werk net soos in die ander skole gebeur”.

By die eerste “Amen” uit die gehoor wou ek die oortreder onmiddellik doodmaak deur die woord te verstik. Maar Amens en Ja, meneer begin deur die kamer val soos reën deur 'n geskeurde sambreel.

Hy het ons vertel van die wonderlike veranderinge wat ons kinders in Seëls gehad het. Die Central School (natuurlik, die wit skool was Central) het reeds verbeterings gekry wat in die herfs gebruik sou word. 'N Bekende kunstenaar kom van Little Rock af om hulle kuns te leer. Hulle sou die nuutste mikroskope en chemiese toerusting vir hul laboratorium hê. Mnr. Donleavy het ons nie lank in die duister gelaat oor wie hierdie verbeterings aan Central High beskikbaar gestel het nie. Ons moes ook nie geïgnoreer word in die algemene verbeteringskema wat hy in gedagte gehad het nie.

Hy het gesê dat hy mense op 'n baie hoë vlak daarop gewys het dat een van die eerste lynvoetbakkers by Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College aan die ou Lafayette County Training School gegradueer het. Hier is minder Amen’s gehoor. Die paar wat wel deurgebreek het, lê dof in die lug met die erns van gewoonte.

Hy het ons verder geprys. Hy het verder vertel hoe hy gespog het dat "een van die beste basketbalspelers by Fisk sy eerste bal hier by die Lafayette County Training School gesink het."

Die blanke kinders sou 'n kans kry om Galileos en Madame Curies en Edisons en Gauguins te word, en ons seuns (die meisies was nie eers daaroor nie) sou probeer om Jesse Owenses en Joe Louises te wees.

Owens en die bruin bomwerper was groot helde in ons wêreld, maar watter skoolamptenaar in die witgodskap van Little Rock het die reg gehad om te besluit dat die twee mans ons enigste helde moet wees? Wie het besluit dat Henry Reed 'n wetenskaplike moet word, soos George Washington Carver, as 'n bootblack, om 'n slegte mikroskoop te koop? Bailey sou natuurlik altyd te klein wees om 'n atleet te wees, en die betonengel het vasgemaak aan die sitplek wat besluit het dat as my broer 'n prokureur wil word, hy eers boete vir sy vel moet betaal deur katoen te pluk en koring te skoffel. twintig jaar lank in die nag korrespondensieboeke bestudeer?

Die man se dooie woorde val soos stene om die ouditorium en te veel lê in my maag. Beperk deur hard geleerde maniere kon ek nie agter my kyk nie, maar links en regs het die trotse afstudeerklas van 1940 hul kop laat sak. Elke meisie in my ry het iets nuuts gevind om met haar sakdoek te doen. Sommige het die klein blokkies in liefdesknope gevou, sommige in driehoeke, maar die meeste was besig om dit te vou en dit dan plat op hul geel rondtes te druk.

Op die dag is die ou tragedie herhaal. Professor Parsons sit, styf van die afwyser van die beeldhouer. Sy groot, swaar lyf lyk sonder wil of gewilligheid, en sy oë sê dat hy nie meer by ons is nie. Die ander onderwysers ondersoek die vlag (wat regs op die verhoog gedrapeer was) of hul note, of die vensters wat oopgemaak het op ons nou beroemde diamant.

Die gradeplegtigheid, die stil-stil tyd van fieterjasies en geskenke en gelukwense en diplomas, was vir my klaar voordat my naam genoem is. Die prestasie was niks. Die noukeurige kaarte, geteken in drie kleure ink, leer en spel dekasillabiese woorde, en memoriseer die hele The Rape of Lucrece - dit was verniet. Donleavy het ons blootgestel.

Ons was diensmeisies en boere, handwerkers en wasvroue, en enigiets hoër waarna ons wou streef, was kranksinnig en vermetel.

Toe wens ek dat Gabriel Prosser en Nat Turner alle witmense in hul beddens doodgemaak het en dat Abraham Lincoln vermoor is voor die ondertekening van die Emancipation Proclamation, en dat Harriet Tubman deur die slag op haar kop vermoor is en Christopher Columbus verdrink het die Santa Maria.

Dit was aaklig om neger te wees en geen beheer oor my lewe te hê nie. Dit was wreed om jonk te wees en reeds opgelei om rustig te sit en luister na aanklagte teen my kleur sonder kans om te verdedig. Ons behoort almal dood te wees. Ek het gedink ek sou ons almal dood wou sien, die een op die ander. 'N Piramide van vlees met die witvleis aan die onderkant, as die breë basis, dan die Indiane met hul dom tomahawks en tipies en wigwams en verdragen, die negers met hul moppies en resepte en katoenen sakke en spirituals wat uit hul monde steek. Die Nederlandse kinders moet almal in hul houtskoene struikel en hul nekke breek. Die Franse behoort dood te verstik tydens die Louisiana -aankoop (1803) terwyl sywurms al die Chinese met hul dom varksterte geëet het. As spesie was ons 'n gruwel. Ons almal.

Donleavy was verkiesbaar en het ons ouers verseker dat as hy wen, ons kan reken op die enigste gekleurde verharde speelveld in die deel van Arkansas. Ook - hy het nooit opgekyk om die grunts van aanvaarding te erken nie - ook, ons sou beslis nuwe toerusting vir die huishoudelike gebou en die werkswinkel moes kry.

Hy het klaargemaak, en omdat dit nie nodig was om meer te bedank as die mees bedankende dankies nie, knik hy na die manne op die verhoog, en die lang wit man wat nooit voorgestel is nie, kom by die deur by hom aan. Hulle het vertrek met die gesindheid dat hulle nou op pad was na iets regtig belangriks. (Die gradeplegtighede by die Lafayette County Training School was bloot voorlopig.)

Die lelikheid wat hulle gelaat het, was tasbaar. 'N Ongenooide gas wat nie sou vertrek nie. Die koor is ontbied en sing 'n moderne verwerking van "Onward, Christian Soldiers", met nuwe woorde wat betrekking het op gegradueerdes wat hul plek in die wêreld soek. Maar dit het nie gewerk nie. Elouise, die dogter van die Baptiste -predikant, het 'Invictus' voorgelees en
Ek sou kon huil oor die onbeskaamdheid van "Ek is die meester van my lot, ek is die kaptein van my siel."

My naam het sy bekendheid verloor, en ek moes 'n ruk kry om my diploma te ontvang. Al my voorbereidings het gevlug. Ek het nie soos 'n verowerende Amazone op die verhoog gestap nie, en ek het nie in die gehoor gesoek na Bailey se goedkeuring nie. Marguerite Johnson, ek het die naam weer gehoor, my eerbewyse is gelees, daar was geluide in die gehoor van waardering, en ek het my plek op die verhoog ingeneem.

Ek het gedink aan kleure wat ek gehaat het: ecru, puce, laventel, beige en swart.

Daar skarrel en ritsel om my, toe gee Henry Reed sy waardige toespraak: "To Be or Not to Be." Het hy nie die witmense gehoor nie? Ons kon nie wees nie, so die vraag was 'n vermorsing van tyd. Henry se stem kom duidelik en sterk uit. Ek was bang om na hom te kyk. Het hy nie die boodskap gekry nie? Daar was geen 'edeler in die gees' vir negers nie, want die wêreld het nie gedink dat ons gedagtes het nie, en hulle het ons dit laat weet. "Verregaande fortuin"? Nou, dit was 'n grap. Toe die seremonie verby was, moes ek 'n paar dinge aan Henry Reed vertel. Dit wil sê, as ek nog omgee. Moenie 'vryf' nie, Henry, 'vee'. 'Ag, daar is die uitvee.' Ons.

Henry was 'n goeie student in elokusie. Sy stem styg met getye van belofte en val op golwe van waarskuwings. Die Engelse onderwyser het hom gehelp om 'n preek te maak wat deur Hamlet se soliloquy gevoer is. Om 'n man, 'n doener, 'n bouer, 'n leier te wees, of om 'n hulpmiddel te wees, 'n snaakse grap, 'n breker funky paddastoele. Ek was verbaas dat Henry die toespraak kon deurmaak asof ons 'n keuse het.

Ek het geluister en elke sin stilweg met geslote oë weerlê, dan was daar 'n stilte, wat in 'n gehoor waarsku dat iets onbeplan gebeur. Ek kyk op en sien Henry Reed, die konserwatiewe, die regte, die A -student, draai sy rug na die gehoor en draai na ons (die trotse afstudeerklas van 1940) en sing, amper gesproke,


Ek weet hoekom die hokvoël sing, p.8

Selfs Bailey was bang. Hy sit heeltemal by homself en kyk na die dood van 'n man - 'n katjie wat na 'n wolf kyk. Ek verstaan ​​dit nie heeltemal nie, maar skrik tog.

Op daardie oomblikke het ek besluit dat hoewel Bailey my liefhet, hy nie kan help nie. Ek het myself aan die duiwel verkoop, en daar kon nie ontkom word nie. Die enigste ding wat ek kon doen, was om op te hou om met ander mense as Bailey te praat. Instinktief, of op een of ander manier, het ek geweet dat ek hom nooit sou seergemaak het omdat ek so lief was vir hom nie, maar as ek met iemand anders praat, kan die persoon ook sterf. Net my asem, deur my woorde uit te dra, kan mense vergiftig en hulle sou opkrul en sterf soos die swart vet slakke wat net voorgegee het.

Ek het ontdek dat om volmaakte persoonlike stilte te bereik, al wat ek hoef te doen, was om myself bloedsom aan klank te heg. Ek het na alles begin luister. Ek het waarskynlik gehoop dat, nadat ek al die geluide gehoor het, dit regtig gehoor het en dit diep in my ore ingepak het, die wêreld stil om my sou wees. Ek stap in die kamers waar mense lag, hulle stemme soos klippe teen die mure, en ek staan ​​eenvoudig stil - te midde van die oproer van klank. Na 'n minuut of twee sou stilte uit die skuilplek die kamer binnestorm omdat ek al die geluide opgevreet het.

In die eerste weke het my gesin my gedrag aanvaar as 'n post-verkragting, na 'n hospitaal. (Nie die term of die ervaring is genoem in Ouma se huis, waar ek en Bailey weer gebly het nie.) Hulle het verstaan ​​dat ek met Bailey kon praat, maar met niemand anders nie.

Toe kom die laaste besoek van die besoekende verpleegster, en die dokter het gesê ek is genees. Dit het beteken dat ek weer op die sypaadjies moes speel, handbal speel of die speletjies geniet wat ek gekry het toe ek siek was. Toe ek weier om die kind te wees wat hulle ken en my aanvaar het, is ek onbeskof en my stommiteit stomheid genoem.

Ek is 'n rukkie gestraf omdat ek so hoogmoedig was dat ek nie sou praat nie, en toe kom die vuisvoering, gegee deur enige familielid wat hom aanstootgevoel het.

Ons was op die trein terug na Stamps, en hierdie keer was dit ek wat Bailey moes troos. Hy roep sy hart in die gange van die koetsier en druk sy seuntjie se lyf teen die ruit op soek na 'n laaste blik op sy moeder Liewe.

Ek het nooit geweet of Mamma vir ons gestuur het nie, of die St. Louis -gesin net keelvol was vir my grimmige teenwoordigheid. Daar is niks meer afskuwelik as 'n voortdurend moerse kind nie.

Ek gee minder om oor die reis as oor die feit dat Bailey ongelukkig was en nie meer aan ons bestemming gedink het as as ek net op pad was na die toilet nie.

Die onvrugbaarheid van Seëls was presies wat ek wou hê, sonder wil of bewussyn. Na St. Louis, met sy geraas en aktiwiteite, sy vragmotors en busse en luidrugtige gesinsbyeenkomste, het ek die obskure bane en eensame bungalows verwelkom wat diep in die grond lê.

Die bedanking van die inwoners het my aangemoedig om te ontspan. Hulle het my 'n tevredenheid getoon, gegrond op die oortuiging dat niks meer na hulle toe kom nie, hoewel baie meer te danke was. Hulle besluit om tevrede te wees met die ongelykhede in die lewe, was vir my 'n les. Entering Stamps, I had the feeling that I was stepping over the border lines of the map and would fall, without fear, right off the end of the world. Nothing more could happen, for in Stamps nothing happened.

For an indeterminate time, nothing was demanded of me or of Bailey. We were, after all, Mrs. Henderson’s California grandchildren, and had been away on a glamorous trip way up North to the fabulous St. Louis. Our father had come the year before, driving a big, shiny automobile and speaking the King’s English with a big city accent, so all we had to do was lie quiet for months and rake in the profits of our adventures.

Farmers and maids, cooks and handymen, carpenters and all the children in town, made regular pilgrimages to the Store. “Just to see the travelers.”

They stood around like cutout cardboard figures and asked, “Well, how is it up North?”

“See any of them big buildings?”

“Ever ride in one of them elevators?”

“Whitefolks any different, like they say?”

Bailey took it upon himself to answer every question, and from a corner of his lively imagination wove a tapestry of entertainment for them that I was sure was as foreign to him as it was to me.

He, as usual, spoke precisely. “They have, in the North, buildings so high that for months, in the winter, you can’t see the top floors.”

“They’ve got watermelons twice the size of a cow’s head and sweeter than syrup.” I distinctly remember his intent face and the fascinated faces of his listeners. “And if you can count the watermelon’s seeds, before it’s cut open, you can win five zillion dollars and a new car.”

Momma, knowing Bailey, warned, “Now Ju, be careful you don’t slip up on a not true.” (Nice people didn’t say “lie.”)

“Everybody wears new clothes and have inside toilets. If you fall down in one of them, you get flushed away into the Mississippi River. Some people have iceboxes, only the proper name is Cold Spot or Frigidaire. The snow is so deep you can get buried right outside your door and people won’t find you for a year. We made ice cream out of the snow.” That was the only fact that I could have supported. During the winter, we had collected a bowl of snow and poured Pet milk over it, and sprinkled it with sugar and called it ice cream.

Momma beamed and Uncle Willie was proud when Bailey regaled the customers with our exploits. We were drawing cards for the Store and objects of the town’s adoration. Our journey to magical places alone was a spot of color on the town’s drab canvas, and our return made us even more the most enviable of people.

High spots in Stamps were usually negative: droughts, floods, lynchings and deaths.

Bailey played on the country folks’ need for diversion. Just after our return he had taken to sarcasm, picked it up as one might pick up a stone, and put it snufflike under his lip. The double entendres, the two-pronged sentences, slid over his tongue to dart rapier-like into anything that happened to be in the way. Our customers, though, generally were so straight thinking and speaking that they were never hurt by his attacks. They didn’t comprehend them.

“Bailey Junior sound just like Big Bailey. Got a silver tongue. Just like his daddy.”

“I hear tell they don’t pick cotton up there. How the people live then?”

Bailey said that the cotton up North was so tall, if ordinary people tried to pick it they’d have to get up on ladders, so the cotton farmers had their cotton picked by machines.

For a while I was the only recipient of Bailey’s kindness. It was not that he pitied me but that he felt we were in the same boat for different reasons, and that I could understand his frustration just as he could countenance my withdrawal.

I never knew if Uncle Willie had been told about the incident in St. Louis, but sometimes I caught him watching me with a far-off look in his big eyes. Then he would quickly send me on some errand that would take me out of his presence. When that happened I was both relieved and ashamed. I certainly didn’t want a cripple’s sympathy (that would have been a case of the blind leading the blind), nor did I want Uncle Willie, whom I loved in my fashion, to think of me as being sinful and dirty. If he thought so, at least I didn’t want to know it.

Sounds came to me dully, as if people were speaking through their handkerchiefs or with their hands over their mouths. Colors weren’t true either, but rather a vague assortment of shaded pastels that indicated not so much color as faded familiarities. People’s names escaped me and I began to worry over my sanity. After all, we had been away less than a year, and customers whose accounts I had formerly remembered without consulting the ledger were now complete strangers.

People, except Momma and Uncle Willie, accepted my unwillingness to talk as a natural outgrowth of a reluctant return to the South. And an indication that I was pining for the high times we had had in the big city. Then, too, I was well known for being “tender-hearted.” Southern Negroes used that term to mean sensitive and ten
ded to look upon a person with that affliction as being a little sick or in delicate health. So I was not so much forgiven as I was understood.

For nearly a year, I sopped around the house, the Store, the school and the church, like an old biscuit, dirty and inedible. Then I met, or rather got to know, the lady who threw me my first life line.

Mrs. Bertha Flowers was the aristocrat of Black Stamps. She had the grace of control to appear warm in the coldest weather, and on the Arkansas summer days it seemed she had a private breeze which swirled around, cooling her. She was thin without the taut look of wiry people, and her printed voile dresses and flowered hats were as right for her as denim overalls for a farmer. She was our side’s answer to the richest white woman in town.

Her skin was a rich black that would have peeled like a plum if snagged, but then no one would have thought of getting close enough to Mrs. Flowers to ruffle her dress, let alone snag her skin. She didn’t encourage familiarity. She wore gloves too.

I don’t think I ever saw Mrs. Flowers laugh, but she smiled often. A slow widening of her thin black lips to show even, small white teeth, then the slow effortless closing. When she chose to smile on me, I always wanted to thank her. The action was so graceful and inclusively benign.

She was one of the few gentlewomen I have ever known, and has remained throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be.

Momma had a strange relationship with her. Most often when she passed on the road in front of the Store, she spoke to Momma in that soft yet carrying voice, “Good day, Mrs. Henderson.” Momma responded with “How you, Sister Flowers?”

Mrs. Flowers didn’t belong to our church, nor was she Momma’s familiar. Why on earth did she insist on calling her Sister Flowers? Shame made me want to hide my face. Mrs. Flowers deserved better than to be called Sister. Then, Momma left out the verb. Why not ask, “How are you, Mrs. Flowers?” With the unbalanced passion of the young, I hated her for showing her ignorance to Mrs. Flowers. It didn’t occur to me for many years that they were as alike as sisters, separated only by formal education.

Although I was upset, neither of the women was in the least shaken by what I thought an unceremonious greeting. Mrs. Flowers would continue her easy gait up the hill to her little bungalow, and Momma kept on shelling peas or doing whatever had brought her to the front porch.

Occasionally, though, Mrs. Flowers would drift off the road and down to the Store and Momma would say to me, “Sister, you go on and play.” As I left I would hear the beginning of an intimate conversation. Momma persistently using the wrong verb, or none at all.

“Brother and Sister Wilcox is sho’ly the meanest—” “Is,” Momma? “Is”? Oh, please, not “is,” Momma, for two or more. But they talked, and from the side of the building where I waited for the ground to open up and swallow me, I heard the soft-voiced Mrs. Flowers and the textured voice of my grandmother merging and melting. They were interrupted from time to time by giggles that must have come from Mrs. Flowers (Momma never giggled in her life). Then she was gone.

She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally. Like women in English novels who walked the moors (whatever they were) with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance. Like the women who sat in front of roaring fireplaces, drinking tea incessantly from silver trays full of scones and crumpets. Women who walked over the “heath” and read morocco-bound books and had two last names divided by a hyphen. It would be safe to say that she made me proud to be Negro, just by being herself.

She acted just as refined as whitefolks in the movies and books and she was more beautiful, for none of them could have come near that warm color without looking gray by comparison.

It was fortunate that I never saw her in the company of powhitefolks. For since they tend to think of their whiteness as an evenizer, I’m certain that I would have had to hear her spoken to commonly as Bertha, and my image of her would have been shattered like the unmendable Humpty-Dumpty.

One summer afternoon, sweet-milk fresh in my memory, she stopped at the Store to buy provisions. Another Negro woman of her health and age would have been expected to carry the paper sacks home in one hand, but Momma said, “Sister Flowers, I’ll send Bailey up to your house with these things.”

She smiled that slow dragging smile, “Thank you, Mrs. Henderson. I’d prefer Marguerite, though.” My name was beautiful when she said it. “I’ve been meaning to talk to her, anyway.” They gave each other age-group looks.

Momma said, “Well, that’s all right then. Sister, go and change your dress. You going to Sister Flowers’s.”

The chifforobe was a maze. What on earth did one put on to go to Mrs. Flowers’ house? I knew I shouldn’t put on a Sunday dress. It might be sacrilegious. Certainly not a house dress, since I was already wearing a fresh one. I chose a school dress, naturally. It was formal without suggesting that going to Mrs. Flowers’ house was equivalent to attending church.

I trusted myself back into the Store.

“Now, don’t you look nice.” I had chosen the right thing, for once.

“Mrs. Henderson, you make most of the children’s clothes, don’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am. Sure do. Store-bought clothes ain’t hardly worth the thread it take to stitch them.”

“I’ll say you do a lovely job, though, so neat. That dress looks professional.”

Momma was enjoying the seldom-received compliments. Since everyone we knew (except Mrs. Flowers, of course) could sew competently, praise was rarely handed out for the commonly practiced craft.

“I try, with the help of the Lord, Sister Flowers, to finish the inside just like I does the outside. Come here, Sister.”

I had buttoned up the collar and tied the belt, apronlike, in back. Momma told me to turn around. With one hand she pulled the strings and the belt fell free at both sides of my waist. Then her large hands were at my neck, opening the button loops. I was terrified. What was happening?

“Take it off, Sister.” She had her hands on the hem of the dress.

“I don’t need to see the inside, Mrs. Henderson, I can tell …” But the dress was over my head and my arms were stuck in the sleeves. Momma said, “That’ll do. See here, Sister Flowers, I French-seams around the armholes.” Through the cloth film, I saw the shadow approach. “That makes it last longer. Children these days would bust out of sheet-metal clothes. They so rough.”

“That is a very good job, Mrs. Henderson. You should be proud. You can put your dress back on, Marguerite.”

“No ma’am. Pride is a sin. And ’cording to the Good Book, it goeth before a fall.”

“That’s right. So the Bible says. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.”

I wouldn’t look at either of them. Momma hadn’t thought that taking off my dress in front of Mrs. Flowers would kill me stone dead. If I had refused, she would have thought I was trying to be “womanish” and might have remembered St. Louis. Mrs. Flowers had known that I would be embarrassed and that was even worse. I picked up the groceries and went out to wait in the hot sunshine. It would be fitting if I got a sunstroke and died before they came outside. Just dropped dead on the slanting porch.

There was a little path beside the rocky road, and Mrs. Flowers walked in front swinging her arms and picking her way over the stones.

She said, without turning her head, to me, “I hear you’re doing very good school work, Marguerite, but that it’s all written. The teachers report that they have trouble getting you to talk in class.” We passed the triangular farm on our left and the path widened to allow us to walk together. I hung back in the separate unasked and unanswerable questions.

“Come and walk along with me, Marguerite.” I couldn’t have refused even if I wanted to. She pronounced my name so nicely. Or more correctly, she spoke each word with such clarity that I was certain a foreigner who didn’t understand English could have understood her.

“Now no one is going to make you talk—poss
ibly no one can. But bear in mind, language is man’s way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone which separates him from the lower animals.” That was a totally new idea to me, and I would need time to think about it.

“Your grandmother says you read a lot. Every chance you get. That’s good, but not good enough. Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.”

I memorized the part about the human voice infusing words. It seemed so valid and poetic.

She said she was going to give me some books and that I not only must read them, I must read them aloud. She suggested that I try to make a sentence sound in as many different ways as possible.

“I’ll accept no excuse if you return a book to me that has been badly handled.” My imagination boggled at the punishment I would deserve if in fact I did abuse a book of Mrs. Flowers’. Death would be too kind and brief.

The odors in the house surprised me. Somehow I had never connected Mrs. Flowers with food or eating or any other common experience of common people. There must have been an outhouse, too, but my mind never recorded it.

The sweet scent of vanilla had met us as she opened the door.

“I made tea cookies this morning. You see, I had planned to invite you for cookies and lemonade so we could have this little chat. The lemonade is in the icebox.”

It followed that Mrs. Flowers would have ice on an ordinary day, when most families in our town bought ice late on Saturdays only a few times during the summer to be used in the wooden ice-cream freezers.

She took the bags from me and disappeared through the kitchen door. I looked around the room that I had never in my wildest fantasies imagined I would see. Browned photographs leered or threatened from the walls and the white, freshly done curtains pushed against themselves and against the wind. I wanted to gobble up the room entire and take it to Bailey, who would help me analyze and enjoy it.


10 Things you didn’t know about Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was one of the most critically acclaimed voices of American literature &mdash but there are still a few things you might not know about her.

1. She wrote six autobiographies

Most people consider themselves lucky if their lives are interesting enough to garner enough commercial interest for one book about their lives. Maya Angelou wrote six &mdash and that’s not including profiles written by others. Taken as a series, read them in this order: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes and A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

2. She was once a jill-of-all-trades

Before becoming a successful writer and poet, Angelou tried on multiple occupations as a means to support her son as a single mother. These included fry cook, stripper, prostitute, streetcar conductor, nightclub performer, actress, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a journalist in Egypt and Ghana.

Poet, writer Maya Angelou dead at 86 >>

3. She didn’t speak for years after her rapist was murdered

A victim of child sexual abuse, Angelou was brave enough to tell what happened to her. When her rapist &mdash her mother’s boyfriend &mdash was jailed for only one day, others (thought to be her uncles) took justice into their own hands and murdered her attacker. She became mute for five years afterward, believing that her voice caused his death.

4. She was multilingual

The well-traveled writer studied the languages of each area of the world she visited, and, as a result, became proficient in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and West African Fanti.

5. She never went to college but has more degrees than anyone you know

After becoming a single mother at the age of 17, Angelou had to work rather than go to college. By the time of her death, however, Angelou had racked up more than 30 honorary degrees from colleges and universities all over the country.

6. She was a three-time Grammy winner

Despite her past as a cabaret singer &mdash she even put out an album! &mdash Angelou’s Grammy wins were not for music, but for spoken word. She won the awards for her Bill Clinton inaugural poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” and other poems “Phenomenal Woman” and the audiobook version of her autobiography A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

20 Moving quotes from Maya Angelou >>

7. She was extremely political

Angelou was named the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s northern coordinator under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., after organizing the Cabaret for Freedom in 1960. She began pro-Castro and anti-apartheid activism at this time as well.

8. She was Oprah’s longtime mentor

Many saw Angelou appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but what viewers may not have realized is that the pair’s relationship began as far back as the late 󈨊s. They met when Oprah was a TV anchor in Baltimore, Maryland, long before her talk show made her into a cultural icon and household name.

9. She wrote her first book because she was told not to

After requesting an autobiography from Angelou several times and getting shut down, her editor decided to try reverse psychology and told her that writing it as literature was “almost impossible” and she shouldn’t even try it. “The truth is that he had talked to James Baldwin, my brother friend, and Jimmy told him that, ‘If you want Maya Angelou to do something, tell her she can’t do it,'” she told NPR in 2008. The result was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

10. She had a very precise writing ritual

If you picture a writer in a small dark room with a typewriter, that’s pretty much the opposite of how Angelou’s process worked. She would wake early in the morning and check into a hotel, where staff had been instructed to remove all of the artwork from the walls. Lying on the bed, she would write 10 to 12 pages a day by hand on a yellow legal pad with a bottle of sherry, a pack of cards to play solitaire, Roget’s Thesaurus and the Bible to keep her company. She would edit her work down to three or four pages in the evening and do it all over again the next day until she was finished.


Maya Angelou's lingering hum

She bought her clothes for their colors in secondhand shops — "beautiful reds and oranges, and greens and pinks, and teals and turquoise" — and wore them in happy mismatch. She danced feathers and a few sequins to Alvin Ailey's leopard print G-string — shaking everything she had. She spoke French, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Fanti and easily (mesmerizingly) recited John Donne, William Shakespeare, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Edgar Allan Poe, Langston Hughes, even Publius Terentius Afer, an African slave born nearly 200 years before Christ.

She worked the Melrose Record Shop selling John Lee Hooker and Charlie Parker sang her heart out at the Purple Onion toured Europe as the premier dancer in "Porgy and Bess" lived in a houseboat commune with "an icthyologist, a musician, a wife, and an inventor" and once described her life, to a rapt Merv Griffin, as one in which she'd been "obliged to be clever, to dance quickly, to edge-walk."

She brought poetic intimacy to the political compassion to the margins fervor to the campaigns of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Barack Obama and smothered chicken, smoked pork chops and spoon bread to tables wrapped by friends.

She was raped as a child by her mother's boyfriend, impregnated at 16 by an acquaintance, married to a Greek who did not cherish her well, consoled by a bartender when she asked if any man would have her again. And yet: love — bold, outrageous, graceful, ecstatic — was her sure stance, the conclusion she had drawn, the lesson she passed on.

Her famous name — Maya Angelou — came to her in pieces, an adaptation of her given and married name, for she'd been born Marguerite Annie Johnson. Her style was 6-feet proud, up until her death on May 28 at age 86. She had advice for us:

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

"Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity."

She had "an attitude of gratitude." She loved that son of hers, and oh, that woman: She could laugh.

Writer. Actor. Singer. Dancer. Activist. Cook. Historian. Educator. First African-American female cable car conductor. U.S. poet laureate. Grammy Award winner. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Angelou has been given many titles. But in terms of pure literature, we will perhaps remember best the ways she electrified sound. How she pointed to a place beyond her shoulder, beyond the shimmer of sky, as she read:

Out of the huts of history's shame

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

Into a daybreak that's miraculously clear

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

How, as a Terry Gross guest on National Public Radio in 1986, she demonstrated long-meter hymns, laying out a line — As long as I live in troubled times — and then answering harmonically.

Sy haal asem. We didn't.

How she stood at the presidential podium on Jan. 20, 1993, Bill Clinton sitting behind her and the world sitting before her, and decreed, on behalf of the earth itself:

Here, on the pulse of this new day,

You may have the grace to look up and out

And into your sister's eyes,

And into your brother's face,

"There is no human sound which is unbeautiful to me," she said, but that's because she always heard the music first. Because she, despite every last hurting and unjust thing, believed in the possibility of song.

Angelou's groundbreaking first of what would become several autobiographies, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969), had been encouraged by James Baldwin and Angelou's editor, Robert Loomis. Poet Dunbar is right there in the title (the line having been lifted from Dunbar's 1899 poem "Sympathy"), but so, of course, is the idea of the melodic — not just the soul's capacity for song, but the undefeatable urge.

Angelou's "Caged Bird" is a coming-of-age narrative. She emerges as every variety of herself — an abandoned daughter, a cared-for granddaughter, a brother-loving sister, a steady observer of her grandmother's store in Stamps, Ark., a survivor of innocence ruptured. The book is revelatory in its themes of identity, racism, schisms, violence and redemption. It is, I think, at its best when capturing sound.

With the ear of an enchanted child, Angelou reports on the "troubadours" and their "ceaseless crawlings through the South (who) leaned across its benches and sang their sad songs of The Brazos while they played juice harps and cigar-box guitars." She writes of the grandmother who would "creak down to her knees and chant in a sleep-filled voice." She conjures the store and its many moods: "The sound of the empty cotton sacks dragging over the floor and the murmurs of waking people were sliced by the cash register as we rang up the five-cent sales." Later: "I alone could hear the slow pulse of its job half done."

And when tragedy strikes, when Angelou is returned to her mother and raped as an 8-year-old child, memory is "like a bad connection on an overseas telephone call." There will be a trial. The rapist, convicted, will be murdered. Angelou, who had used her own words to accuse the man who had assaulted her, will conclude that the rapist's death is her fault. Subsequently, and for many years, she will commit herself to a "perfect personal silence," with the exception of conversations conducted with her brother, Bailey. The practice of such silence would require Angelou to "attach" herself "leechlike to sound."

I began to listen to everything. I probably hoped that after I had heard all the sounds, really heard them and packed them down, deep in my ears, the world would be quiet around me.

Later in life, after the spell of near-silence had been broken, Angelou would retain her gift both for deeply intentional listening and for the snatch and reinvention of syllables, accents, pause.

Angelou's poems, such as those collected in the Pulitzer-nominated "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie" (1971), were blues-inflected and rhyme-inclined: "You torture my love with mournful cries, / sweet hello's and sad goodbyes."

Her advice, collected in books such as "Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now" (1993), was at its most judicious when it arrived after a considered hearkening: "I would like to see us go calling on the good example and upon virtue itself with the purpose of inviting them back into our conversations, our businesses, homes, and our lives, to reside in those places as favored friends."

Her serial autobiographies announced, over and again, the power and place of the ditty and the anthem: "Music was my refuge," she wrote at the start of her third, "Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas" (1976). "I could crawl into the spaces between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."

The lyric, the dropped octave, the snap and stitch, the quickening, the bird chirp in the still tree: This is how we remember Maya Angelou. We remember, too, Angelou's own relationship to loss. Her fear of death not for herself, but for others. Her tribute to Michael Jackson: "His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us." Her poem for Nelson Mandela: "We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all."

And then there is this: the final stanza in the final poem in a collection called "I Shall Not Be Moved" (1990). The love is here. The hope is, too. And so, restoratively, are the sizzle and the jazz and the blues. The peace hoped for and sometimes won. The eyes on us, the sound — listen for it — electric:


Angelou was lyrical witness of the Jim Crow South

Maya Angelou, the memoirist and poet whose landmark 1969 book &ldquoI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings&rdquo was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide readership, died Wednesday at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The cause of death wasn't immediately known, but longtime literary agent Helen Brann said Angelou had been frail for some time and had heart problems.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said, &ldquoToday, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time &mdash a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman,&rdquo adding, &ldquoShe inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.&rdquo

As well-known as she was for her memoirs, which eventually filled six volumes, Angelou likely received her widest exposure on a chilly January day in 1993, when she delivered the inaugural poem &ldquoOn the Pulse of Morning&rdquo at the swearing-in of Bill Clinton, who, like Angelou, had grown up poor in rural Arkansas.

Long before that day, as she recounted in &ldquoCaged Bird&rdquo and its five sequels, she'd been a dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor, single mother, magazine editor in Cairo, administrative assistant in Ghana, official of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and friend or associate of some of the most eminent black Americans of the mid-20th century, including James Baldwin, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Afterward (her six-volume memoir takes her only to age 40), Angelou was a Tony-nominated stage actress professor of American studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem ubiquitous presence on the lecture circuit and a frequent guest on television shows, from &ldquoOprah&rdquo to &ldquoSesame Street.&rdquo

In February 2011, Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.

Throughout her writing, Angelou explored the concepts of personal identity and resilience through the multifaceted lens of race, sex, family, community and the collective past.

As a whole, her work offered a clear-eyed examination of the ways in which the socially marginalizing forces of racism and sexism played out on the individual.

Hallmarks of Angelou's prose style included a directness of voice that recalls African-American oral tradition and gives her work the quality of testimony.

&ldquoI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,&rdquo published when Angelou was in her early 40s, spans only her first 17 years. But what powerfully formative years they were.

Marguerite Ann Johnson was born in St. Louis on April 4, 1928. (For years after King's assassination, on April 4, 1968, Angelou did not celebrate her birthday.)

After her parents' marriage ended, 3-year-old Maya was sent with her 4-year-old brother Bailey to live with their father's mother in the tiny town of Stamps, Arkansas, which, she later wrote, &ldquowith its dust and hate and narrowness was as South as it was possible to get.&rdquo

The children returned periodically to St. Louis to live with their mother. On one such occasion, when Maya was 7 or 8, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend.

She told her brother, who alerted the family, and the man was tried and convicted. Before he could begin serving his sentence, he was killed &mdash probably, Angelou wrote, by her uncles.

Believing that her words had the power to kill, Maya didn't speak for the next five years. Her love of literature, as she later wrote, helped restore language to her.

As a teenager, now living with her mother in San Francisco, she studied dance and drama at the California Labor School and became the first black woman to be a streetcar conductor there.

At 16, after a casual liaison with a neighborhood youth, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. There the first book ends.

As her memoir continues, Angelou recounts her marriage to a Greek sailor, Tosh Angelos.

After her marriage dissolved, she embarked on a career as a calypso dancer and singer under the name Maya Angelou, a variant of her married name. A striking stage presence &mdash she was 6 feet tall &mdash she occasionally teamed with Alvin Ailey in a San Francisco nightclub dance act known as Al and Rita.

She was cast in the Truman Capote-Harold Arlen musical &ldquoHouse of Flowers,&rdquo which opened on Broadway in 1954. But she chose instead to tour the world as a featured dancer in a production of &ldquoPorgy and Bess&rdquo by the Everyman Opera Company, a black ensemble.

Angelou later settled in New York, where she became active in the Harlem Writers Guild, sang at the Apollo and eventually succeeded Bayard Rustin as the coordinator of the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization he, King and others had founded.

In the early 1960s, Angelou became romantically involved with Vusumzi Make, a South African civil rights activist. She moved with him to Cairo, where she became the associate editor of a magazine, the Arab Observer.

After leaving Make &mdash she found him paternalistic and controlling, she later wrote &mdash she moved to Accra, Ghana, where she was an administrative assistant at the University of Ghana.

On returning to New York, Angelou helped Malcolm X set up the Organization of Afro-American Unity, established in 1964.

In 1973, Angelou appeared on Broadway in &ldquoLook Away,&rdquo a two-character play about Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress. Though the play closed after one performance, Angelou was nominated for a Tony Award.

On the screen, she portrayed Kunta Kinte's grandmother in the 1977 television mini-series &ldquoRoots&rdquo and appeared in several feature films, including &ldquoHow to Make an American Quilt&rdquo (1995).


Maya Angelou remembered in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The late Maya Angelou was no stranger to Chicago. The voice of the acclaimed poet, storyteller, and activist resonated with Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and those at St. Sabina Church on the city's South Side.

Dr. Angelou, best known for her book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," published in 1969, died on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86 in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"Today, the thoughts and prayers of the people of Chicago join countless millions around the world in mourning the passing of Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou was a true national treasure. Through poetry, song, dance, and the spoken word, Dr. Angelou gave voice to generations of Americans and became an unstoppable force for peace, civil rights, and social justice," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said through a statement. He was a White House advisor when Angelou read "On the Pulse of Morning" at Pres. Clinton's first inauguration.

The civil rights activist, who worked with both Dr. Martin Luther and Malcolm X, served on two presidential committees for Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Bill Clinton in 2010 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by Pres. Obama.

Angelou helped the Poetry Foundation, based in Chicago, develop a curriculum for teaching essential African American poetry to students of all ages, according to the website, upon which some of Angelou's works - including A Plagued Journey, Awakening in New York, Caged Bird, California Prodigal and Kin - are posted.

Jamila Woods, a poet in residence at the foundation, was inspired by Angelou as a child, she said. "They always have this big poster of her. I remember asking my mom who is that? And her saying that Maya Angelou, she's a poet. And that just blew my mind at 5 years old. Like, wow. That's somebody's job! I didn't know that was possible," Woods said.

The foundation's poetry blog wrote, "We're deeply saddened to learn this morning of the death of Maya Angelou, the legendary poet and activist whose writing inspired a wide audience."

Angelou's audience ranged from Oprah Winfrey, who called her a mentor-mother-sister-friend, to parishioners at Chicago's St. Sabina's Church, where she spoke about a dozen times, most recently in 2010.

"She really loved coming here. No matter how bad she felt, she'd come," Father Michael Pfleger said. "We need voices like Dr. Maya Angelou, who continue to encourage us, challenge us, love us and make us wrestle. She did all of that. She is one of those voices that, I think, give breath to humanity."

Chicago director Bob Hercules was working with Angelou on a documentary about her life and legacy.

"To think that a woman could've gone from the edges of poverty and racism and segregation in the Jim Crow south to having her portrait installed at the National Portrait Gallery was amazing, majestic moment for all of us, Hercules said.

Angelou was a mentor to Oprah Winfrey, whom she met while a young reporter in Baltimore. Winfrey released a statement on Wednesday.

"I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20's. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give' is one of my best lessons from her. She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds," Winfrey wrote.

Winfrey wrote about her relationship with Angelou in the December 2000 issue of O Magazine. She said their connection was instant.

"We talked as if we had known each other our entire lives and throughout my twenties and in the years beyond, Maya brought clarity to my life lessons. Now we have what I call a mother-sister-friend relationship. She's the woman who can share my triumphs, chide me with hard truth and soothe me with words of comfort when I call her in my deepest pain," Winfrey wrote.

Angelou was in Chicago for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" farewell on May 17, 2011, and another interview was published to oprah.com in May of last year.

Oprah: Well, it's a great honor to have you here. We've known each other for so long now, I actually feel like your daughter.

Maya: You are my daughter.

Oprah: I am your daughter. And you are my mother, my sister and my friend, from the very first day we met.


Maya Angelou Recites

Between Angelou's fiction, non-fiction, and published verse, she amassed more than 30 bestselling titles.

Angelou was also a trailblazer in film. She wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film "Georgia," and the script, the first-ever by an African-American woman to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

In more recent years, it was her interactions with presidents that made headlines. In 1993, she wowed the world when her reading of her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" was broadcast live globally from former President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. She stayed so close with the Clintons that in 2008, she supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy over Barack Obama's.

In a statement Wednesday, President Obama called Angelou "one of the brightest lights of our time."

"Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God's children that we all have something to offer," he said.

Angelou also counted Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as friends, and served as a mentor to Oprah Winfrey when Winfrey was starting out as a local TV reporter.

Winfrey said in a statement Wednesday, "What stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds."

When she was in her 20s, Angelou also met Billie Holiday, who told her: "You're going to be famous. But it won't be for singing."

Angelou read another poem, "Amazing Peace," for former President George W. Bush at the 2005 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the White House.

In North Carolina, Angelou lived in an 18-room house, the AP reported, and taught American Studies at Wake Forest University.


Kyk die video: EK 2016