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Monday, February 02, 2009

Black History: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is an accomplished poet, an award-winning writer, a journalist, an activist, a performer, a dancer, an actress, a director, and a teacher. She is also a three-time Grammy Award winner for her autobiographical spoken-word recordings. Born in St. Louis, she was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then went to San Francisco. She lives in Harlem, NY, and Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Signs, she is the author of Letter to my Daughter; several poetry collections, including Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?; and a number of books for young readers, including Kofi and His Magic; My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me; and the Maya's World series.

Letter to My Daughter

For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers.Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight.Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice–Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family. Like the rest of her remarkable work, Letter to My Daughter entertains and teaches; it is a book to cherish, savor, re-read, and share.

Do you have a Maya Angelou moment? Share it with us.


Rhonda McKnight said...

I will never forget the first time I heard the poem "Phenomenal Woman". A local radio station personality read it on air on Ms. Angelou's birthday. I was in my late teens then and honestly, I credit some of my positive self-image as a black women to the words of that poem. Ms. Angelou convinced me through her sonnet that I was and would always be beautiful.

I had an opportunity to see Ms. Angelou speak 2 years ago on Feb 2nd - how poetic is that, 2 years to this date. She was the featured guest speaker at my graduate school colloqium. I invited two of my girlfriends and we traveled from the suburbs into downtown Atlanta (which I rarely do) and listened to her share the most incredible stories of her life's journey. What a blessing. I would have done anything to hug her and tell her what a difference her work has made in my life. But I'm certain she knows how much God has used her to bless us all. I am looking forward to reading this book. Thanks so much for featuring her LaShaunda.


Rhonda McKnight

PerfectMomentProject said...

Fake or not, @notmayaangelou put me back in contact with the great poet.
Maya Angelou, I'm following YOU!

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