Maya Angelou: Caged Bird 40th Anniversary

The worst thing is to be too timid in life. Life is about saying here I am, so let’s go!

I have been blessed to grow up with some extraordinary women. In fact, I’m taking one of the most magnificent women I’ve ever met to the circus today. As an 82 year old New York native, she is excited to watch from the Madison Square Garden suites, as a VIP.

Another extraordinary woman of our lifetime is Maya Angelou. She’s a poet, humanitarian, an activist, a brilliant lover of life. Through her writing, Angelou has touched, nurtured, and inspired millions. On the fortieth anniversary of her autobiographical classic I Know Why The Caged Birds, Essence reflected on Maya Angelou’s brilliance in a photojournalism essay.

Angelou has lived every ounce of life in her 81 years. She recorded an album, danced with Alvin Ailey, starred in films, and could call Malcolm X friend. She has over 30 honorary degrees,

She wrote the Inaugural poem for President Clinton, the first Black woman ever given the opportunity. Although nervous, Angelou recited “On The Pulse Of the Morning.” She recalled: ” If I say yes, I’m going to a decent job where there might be flashes of brilliance. But if I say no, it might be another 20 years before another Black woman gets asked. At least I can get that door open and put my foot in.

Because Maya Angelou put her foot in the door, and my grandaunt put hers in, we could live a life in which we know no limits.

And for this reason, it’s my honor to help my grandaunt into her plush VIP seat at MSG, where she can gaze above the crowds and enjoy the greatest show on Earth.


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