American figure Maya Angelou was a acclaimed writer, poet, activist, singer, extra and speaker. During her continued and assorted career she formed as a announcer in Africa, toured the apple as an opera singer, authored the all-embracing anthology I Apperceive Why the Caged Bird Sings, formed alongside Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and recited one of her balladry at a US presidential inauguration. But added than that, Maya’s life, assignment and acumen aggressive some of today’s best acclaimed names to accomplish abundant things too.
Tupac Shakur, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar all took afflatus from the ‘Godmother of hip hop’.
She confused through the apple with unshakeable calm, aplomb and a angry grace.
Oprah Winfrey on Maya Angelou
Angelou mentored TV host Oprah Winfrey from her twenties onwards, acting as a support, acquaintance and adviser throughout her career. Afterwards Angelou’s death, Winfrey remembered her as a abecedary who believed in administration ability so that others could apprentice too. Above all though, she said, “what stands out to me… about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or accounting or spoken, it’s how she lived her life. She confused through the apple with unshakeable calm, aplomb and a angry grace.”
Angelou aboriginal met Nelson Mandela in 1962 aback she was active in Cairo, Egypt, with the South African civilian rights activist Vusumzi Make. Soon after, Mandela was confined and the brace weren’t in acquaintance afresh for three decades. But the acclaimed elder didn’t balloon her – according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, annal appearance that he watched the blur adaptation of Angelou’s adventures I Apperceive Why the Caged Bird Sings while in jail. Aback he was assuredly freed afterwards 27 years in bastille and adopted President of South Africa, Mandela chose Angelou’s words for his inauguration, reciting her composition Still I Rise.
On the set of the blur Poetic Justice, Angelou abundantly chock-full a action amid Tupac Shakur and addition adolescent actor. She recalled how Tupac took some time to calm down, but eventually agreed to allocution to her: “I said, ‘Do you apperceive how abundant you are needed? Do you apperceive what you beggarly to us? Do you apperceive that hundreds of years of attempt accept been for you?’” The ability of her words had a huge appulse on the afflicted star. “He started to weep”, Angelou said. “I absolved him bottomward into a little gully and kept his aback to the bodies so they wouldn’t see him, and I acclimated my easily to dry his cheeks.”
Beyoncé and Rihanna
When Angelou died in 2014, celebrities took to amusing media to accurate their anguish and respect, and it was bright she had fabricated a big appulse on abounding of music’s best acclaimed names. Rihanna tweeted that I Apperceive Why the Caged Bird Sings was the aboriginal book she apprehend as a jailbait and went on to say: “She fabricated us feel so safe, safe abundant to assurance her wisdom! Acumen one can usually alone access through experience.” Beyoncé – whose aroma Rise is anticipation to be aggressive by Angelou’s balladry – acquaint a handwritten adaptation of Still I Rise on Instagram. She captioned it “Rest in accord astounding woman”, referencing addition of Angelou’s poems, Astounding Woman, which celebrates changeable ability and beauty.
Tennis brilliant Serena Williams drew on Maya Angelou’s words aback she became the aboriginal abandoned atramentous woman to be called Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2015. In a amorous and claimed accepting speech, Williams declared the immense affliction she has faced during her career: “I’ve had bodies put me bottomward because I didn’t attending like them – I attending stronger… I’ve had bodies attending accomplished me because of the colour of my skin. I’ve had bodies discount me because I was a woman.” She again concluded the accent by reciting an abstract from Still I Rise, crediting it to “my favourite poet, Maya Angelou.”
The adorning Maya Angelou
When he absitively to accept a composition apprehend as allotment of his commencement as US President in 1993, Bill Clinton knew absolutely who he capital to address and bear it: Maya Angelou. He after explained, “I knew she got me, she accepted the time we were active in, she accepted the apple we were active in, and she knew what could be our undoing, as able-bodied as our unchaining.” A recording of the poem, advantaged On the Pulse of Morning, won a Grammy accolade the afterward year.
Many hip hop artists accept cited Angelou as an influence, and she ancestor up as a adornment on several acclaimed tracks. On Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, acceptable kid, m.A.A.d city, Angelou appears in the final few account of the closing track. The songs arch up to it call belief of abomination and assemblage violence, but Angelou represents a articulation of good, arena a churchgoer who urges Lamar and his accompany to embrace “a new life”.
In the song Hey Mama from his hit 2005 anthology Late Registration, Kanye compares his mum to a book of poetry, referencing writers Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni. And in 2010, he wrote in a blog that he capital to chase in Angelou’s footsteps, forth with those of Gil Scott-Heron and Nina Simone: “They accurate what was accident in culture. That is our albatross as the avant-garde day artists and poets, to accurately represent what is accident now”.
US music brilliant Nicki Minaj fabricated after-effects in 2015 aback she gave a able account of Still I Rise at the televised alms accident Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Chase in America. Her achievement has back been beheld over 874,000 times on YouTube. In 2009, Minaj included a clue advantaged Still I Rise in the mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty, a almanac which helped adhesive her rap career.
The articulation she begin helped ancestors of Americans acquisition their bubble amidst the clouds, and aggressive the blow of us to be our best selves.
Barack Obama declared Maya as an afflatus to all Americans
Although Angelou accurate Hillary Clinton in the chase to be the Democratic Party’s presidential applicant in 2008, she became a able apostle for Obama during his time as US President. He admired her too, application Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Aback Angelou died, Obama declared her as an afflatus to all Americans. “A adolescence of adversity and corruption absolutely collection her to stop speaking,” he said, “but the articulation she begin helped ancestors of Americans acquisition their bubble amidst the clouds, and aggressive the blow of us to be our best selves.”
She may accept been accepted as the ‘Godmother of hip hop’ but Angelou aggressive comedians too. She told an accuser in 2013, “Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock… they accept appear actuality to my home in North Carolina to allocution to me and ask me how do I feel about this and that.” She said of her cachet as a abecedary and mentor: “I’m admiring and I’m tough… I assignment actual hard, and I appetite adolescent men and women to apperceive you accept to assignment actual hard.”
Radio 4 and Aardman Animations accept teamed up to bless an absurd activity story. With her adamantine spirit, she overcame the abominable and did the unthinkable. She was a force of nature…
Joyous and haunting, abstruse and memorable – her activity adventure is incredible.
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