May 29

Gratitude: Remembering Maya Angelou

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” A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Dr. Maya Angelou

Gratitude: Remembering Maya Angelou, RIP
Gratitude: Remembering Maya Angelou, RIP

On May 28, we lost a consummate renaissance woman and an inspiring influence to many of us. In her rich and varied lifetime, Dr. Maya Angelou wore many hats; she was a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, film/television producer, professor, actress, educator, dancer, dramatist/playwright, historian, filmmaker, gourmet chef and civil rights activist. She lived life with gusto and taught me, and I believe many of you, the beauty and power of words. When I heard news of her death, I was numbed into silence. I felt a deep sense of loss as Maya was a cherished mentor to me, albeit from afar; her writings and measured words always filled a creative gap in my spirit.

Letter To My Daughter

Whenever I needed a dose of unfettered truth and a touch of mirth, I would reach for Maya’s books and poetry. When she wrote Letter To My Daughter, and And Still I Rise, I felt her words speaking directly and personally to me. As a foreign student in the USA, her books gave me clear and intimate insights on the soci0-political milieu that formed the fabric of her stories. Her books offered a lens into the daily life and struggles of an African American woman and I soaked up every morsel of information they shared. So you can imagine the pain I’ve felt, and the difficulty I’ve had writing this note of gratitude to Maya Angelou.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Dr Maya Angelou

Gratitude: Remembering Maya Angelou
Gratitude: Remembering Maya Angelou

And Still I Rise

I was introduced to Maya’s writings in college and I remember how thrilled I was to get my copy of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I read that first book, cover to cover, and didn’t put it down till I was done.  I laughed, cried, and celebrated her journey as a young woman trying to make sense of the world she inherited, and the cast of characters who inhabited it.  After that first read, I devoured everything she wrote and collected copies to give to friends and family.  As a college instructor, her books were on my reading list and we had many engaged and heated exchanges about her works. When Maya died, a  slice of my life floated away in mourning for her.

On Being A Mentor
Over the years, I grew to love Maya and to admire her many accomplishments. Maya won many awards and yet she made time to mentor a number of people; to be a rainbow in the clouds for others. Oprah Winfrey was one of her mentees. She believed mentoring was a powerful tool to guide and shape lives; especially young adult lives. Our beloved Dr. Maya Angelou understood this role well because, if you have spent any time reading her books, you’d know that in her seven autobiographical books, she shared stories of her life in many other roles; Chanteuse, creole cook, madam, San Francisco’s first black streetcar conductor and a mother. Each role taught Maya valuable life lessons that she was eager to share. For that effort, and her grace and wisdom, I remain grateful. RIP Dr. Maya Angelou.

The Power Of Words

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” Eric Burdon

As we all prepare to eat, drink and be merry, it is imperative to remember that Memorial Day is truly a time for reflection and remembrance of those who paid the ultimate price in wars fought for the protection of people, territory and peace; some wars won, some lost,  and others unending… may we all work towards peace and unity on this planet.


For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip: Every day, we use the written word to elevate, isolate, and hurt each other Those who have mastered this powerful tool use it with reverence because they know that it can empower or destroy us. Like Dr. Maya Angelou, Use it wisely.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: 1st shot of Maya Angelou via Flickr and Wikipedia, Maya Smiling via,

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


African American Author, death, gratitude, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, inspiration, life, Maya Angelou, postaday, reflections

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  • She was certainly a woman who has left her mark on the world, such a wise and caring woman who touched so many lives. Her legacy will live on. She will be sorely missed.
    RIP Maya

  • I did not follow, i have a friend who was very good friends with her.. and she would tell me how wonderful she was.

  • the bird/song one is my gran’s favorite. she was a gem and a lovely lady i am sure. she will be missed.

  • Gratitude to such lovely lady. Who give powered to her words to inspire others. She was having the power of words. N doubt. Nice post

  • I keep reading her quotes and work but I have seen a picture of Maya Angelou on the day I heard the news that she passed away. That’s so sad. I thank the world for bringing her to inspire people.

  • I was reading one of her poems yesterday and oh gosh she will be missed.

  • I’m sure her words and teachings would last really a long time because she has touched so many lives in this lifetime.

  • This is one of the best post i have came across. Yes we need to use our words wisely else we end up hurting someone unknowingly

  • She was an amazing woman who I am sure will be missed by every female out there. I know I will for sure! Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute!

  • Maya Angelou was such an amazing woman and I hope she will always be remembered for generations to come.

  • No doubts… Maya is an amazing woman who has inspired and motivated millions of people all her life. (Sorry, but I can not use “Was” for such a great personality ever)

  • I have never read any of her books but would love to because of all the great inspiriting she did for others. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lovely writing. One of my favourite quotes from her: “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

  • We will never be the same when she left us (RIP) but her words and legacy still remain. She is an inspiration to so many and has changed the lives of a lot of people for the better.

    Love your Positive Motivation Tip and I fully embrace that. Use good words to uplift all the time. Stop yourself from using words to hurt or destroy.

  • I don’t know her but from the praises that I see online, I can say she is a great writer and an inspiration to all women.

  • An inspiration. a role model where we should strive to be, instead of going around being depressed and commit suicide or kill people over the slightest thing.

  • This is a beautiful tribute to her! It just shows us how much of impact she had on peoples life!

  • a wonderful luminary that will surely be missed. may you rest in peace, Maya…your beautiful words + works will forever live with us.

  • Dr Angelou has always been an inspiration and a flow of positive energy for everyone who has read her profound writings full of love and wisdom.

  • I never knew about her but you post helped me to know more. I am now very interested and will make sure to research a little more.

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