One of my first college memories is all wrapped up in Maya Angelou. She used to speak to the freshmen at my school every year once school began.
I heard her twice.
We would cram into the chapel big enough to fit hundreds, if not a thousand people, and be mesmerized by her fame, her voice, her. It was Maya Angelou!
A group of us once waited outside the chapel hoping to have a brief conversation with her before she headed to her car. It didn’t happen (I’m telling you, I shamelessly fit the stereotype of a groupie when it comes to writers).
I won’t pretend that Dr. Angelou was a woman who revolutionized my life or greatly inspired my writing.
That being said, I have to give honor and respect to any person born black, female, and Southern at a time when that spelled death before it spelled human and rose to as great of heights as she did. I feel as if it’s almost sacrilegious to say something bad about her (like it is when people speak about MLK, Jr.). That in and of itself is saying something.
I read two of her memoirs and a few pages of a third book. Today, after reading the news of her death, all I could think is that Oprah must be sitting somewhere crying right now.
May she rest in peace.