I am a HUGE Maya Angelou fan. I have every single book she has ever written in my library. I was teaching at an HBCU in South Carolina and managed to get the chance to meet her at a speaking event in Atlanta. Coretta Scott King was there too. My sister was my plus one and she was clearly embarrassed because I had some sort of panic attack which wasn’t even something ever had at the time. I was a mess. I couldn’t even approach her but my sister did. I just shook and cried and it was embarrassing. I was devastated when she died.
Now comes Amanda Gorman. It’s like we have a little piece of Maya Angelou back. I remember watching Maya Angelou at the inauguration of Bill Clinton. She wasn’t just the first black American to read a poem at the inauguration. She was the first woman to do so. And as I listened to Amanda Gorman recite her poem, which just like Maya Angelou was written specifically for the inauguration, I could not help but imagine Maya Angelou smiling down from heaven. She’ll be writing a new poem for the Superbowl. WTF? That has to be a first. She gives me hope for the future of this country in a time where we need it so much. And I like that poetry is a thing again.
( I have way more than 28 people I want to celebrate this month, and I got a late start so I am going to go ahead and post this one, if that is okay.)