When I woke up yesterday morning, the last thing I thought I would hear would be the passing of one of our worlds greatest. When the alert came to my phone, already in an emotional state, immediately tears fell from my eyes. I could not believe what I was seeing.
I did not want to believe it either.
She was a champion of dance, music, movies, the english language, peace, love, and of living. She was a woman of large stature and even larger heart and mind. Her brilliance, for me, was probably only outshined by her spirit. She has been credited as showing so many others that they actually have a voice to tell the stories that no one can tell, because they are your own. This is important. I remember being exposed to Maya Angelou at a very young age, black females in the arts were very important in my family.
She felt to me, like a never ending source of wisdom, truth and encouragement. And though she is gone in body, her words, her legacy, her work lives on.
In getting ready to put out the Soul Nerds first full length album, I needed to figure out why I write, why I sing. I write these songs because I’m not alone in the way I feel, I know there is something out there who cannot tell there story, even in this day and age of blogging, twitter, vlogging-there are still people whose fear hold them back. Some, it’s their lack of what they feel as talent to tell a story. If my songs, my poems, my stories, if those things can make one person in this whole world feel like they aren’t alone, feel like they aren’t worthless because someone else is right there with them, then that’s success to me.
Maya Angelou taught me that with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. She taught me that with “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still I Rise”. She taught me that were her fights for civil rights. Her legacy must live on in us. There is no one to do the work for us. We’ve got to be champions of our own causes and our own lives in a way that would make Angelou and all those who came before us, who fought for what we have today, proud.
Thank you Maya Angelou, for all that you are, for all that you’ve done, for all you have touched and taught, and for all that your work has done for us.
Rest in love, light and grace.