June 4th, 2014
May 28, 2014 – A Day of Mourning
On Wednesday, May 28th, I like many others, I was disheartened to hear of the death of Doctor Maya Angelou. I majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Wake Forest University where Angelou taught. I cannot speak for the English Departments at Duke, NC State, or any of the other fine schools in North Carolina, but at UNC we rallied around our local writers and boasted of their achievements as if their works were written by our own pen at hand!
When I was in college, it was not unusual to see Doctor Angelou's name listed on the syllabus of every modern-day English class offered. As a matter of fact, it was pretty much a given. Her works such as A Song Flung Up to Heaven and, of course, the famous I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are phenomenal-her poetry beyond brilliant. To me, learning about her life and the obstacles that she overcame makes her works even more exceptional. She had endured rape as a young child and became a mother in her teen years. She lacked a college education yet was inundated in honorary degrees. She not only overcame her trials and tribulations, but she embraced them and put them into words to share with the rest of the world.
Doctor Angelou once said, "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." These are words we should all try to live by.