About Maya Angelou

Just last year I bought her latest book Mom & Me & Mom. I put it away in my library telling myself that at some point I will read it. January of this year I went through my growing number of books yet to read and saw this book and decided to read. It was simple, beautiful yet deep; it touched me as it made me to stop and pause ever so often to reflect on my relationship with my own fractious mother. In fact, if I’m honest, I found it shaming as it showed how Maya, over time, learnt to understand and forgive the shortcomings of her mother, Vivian Baxter. It made me realize  I have a lot of work to do and that as I get older, I must make sure I tie up all those loose ends. I believe Maya successfully did this.

images I was introduced to Maya not through her books, but I was somehow coerced to listen to her, each time she spoke. She had this incredible facility to speak, so much so it stopped me dead in my tracks when she spoke. When I lived in London, I would see her on TV programs such as The Michael Parkinson Show or on Channel 4 News when she was interviewed by the presenter Jon Snow, and countless other shows I saw her in. She was profound, and had this warm, compelling, charm about her. Not only did she possess wisdom but had control over the English language – she could use it to say precisely what she wanted it to say. In my mind, she was a sort of alternative Margaret Thatcher where in place of the cold politics was a spirituality; and just like Thatcher, Maya’s sentences would flow without the intrusion of hmm’s or aah’s, her beliefs would be stated in not too many breaths; and with her naturally deep voice, she spoke with a quiet authority giving the impression that despite talking to the audience, she was speaking to you, directly. This is a weird thing to say, but I always felt she sounded as though she was speaking on behalf of God, that she was the chosen one, sent on a mission or an assignment to complete. There was no one like her.

I’d like to think that God feels she has successfully completed this assignment and she is now in His warm embrace. I ask God to rest her gentle soul and give her family the strength and support they will need in this time.

there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you Maya Angelou



24 thoughts on “About Maya Angelou

  1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog and subscribing. I liked your tribute to Maya. I have not read her last book Mom & Me & Mom but will get it this weekend and add it to my collection.

    Many blessings.


    • Dionne, I liked your tribute also. It’s interesting as I’ve not read ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ but also, at the weekend, I will go out and buy it.

      Take care and lots of blessings to you also.

  2. Thanks for popping into my blog. I really enjoyed reading this tribute and I think it is an accurate interpretation of Maya Angelou essence and how she spoke. Best part: ‘she was a sort of alternative Margaret Thatcher where in place of the cold politics was a spirituality’

  3. Hi a very moving tribute, thanks. I know I’m not the only one who thought of Maya Angelou as the wise grandmother or auntie, to encourage you along life’s way.

  4. Yes, I’m envious that she had known her grandmother; to inspire and to tell her that she was ‘gonna be somebody one day’. It was something that kept her going right to the end. In a way, yes, Maya was my grandmother and aunt, combined. Thanks!!

  5. Thanks for this great post – and your visit to “Peppertreechronicles.com”
    Maya Angelou is most definitely one of our great heroes and sources of inspiration!
    “The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness.” Maya Angelou

  6. Thank you, you have expressed my feelings to a “T”. I have been searching in my mind for those words “quiet authority” for the longest time. That, along with her regal ambience, has reached out and pulled me in time after time.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Next month I travel to London and one of the first things I’ll do is buy Maya’s books and poetry. She will be truly missed. Thanks for your visit!

  7. Hello,
    Last time I tried getting to your blog I was redirected elsewhere , so I’m just now reading your beautiful piece about Maya. Reading your clear writing amplifies the validity of your compliment. I’m liking what I’ve read so far and I will be following you as soon as I find the follow button (I think I’m from the dinosaur ages).

    • Hi there!
      Sorry about the confusion. Yes, sometimes, I use the Maggie Wnittaker site but I mainly do my blogging on this site. So welcome! Thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate this. Unfortunately I don’t write blogs all that often as I believe that unless I feel for the topic, then there is no point in me writing. Or it could be procrastination or, it could good ole fashion laziness. But welcome and I look forward in reading your articles. Take care!

    • Wow, you were so lucky. She had also visited the UK and gave talks but I only found out when she had gone! I just wished I had the opportunity to see her in person. Many thanks for your comment. Take care!!

  8. Yes such a sad loss. I saw her perform in London in the mid 80s. She made me just sit up with my mouth wide open. She was like some oracle that sent everyone pouring out their soles.
    Margaret Thatcher though really? I know what you’re trying to say but for me there was no comparison. She was unique.

    • Of course, Maya was totally unique. I felt just in terms of her voice and delivery, there was a ‘natural’ control; her sentences were smooth-running, with no interruptions, and the only other woman I could think of that was similar was Thatcher. Albeit, Thatcher’s speech was artificial as she had speech and breathing lessons, she also spoke sentences that didn’t have hhms and ahs, which most have us do. That’s where the comparison ends.

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