I don’t know why the passing of Maya Angelou has given me a guilty melancholy feeling towards the fact that I have not read any of her books. Especially, the book “Why the Caged Bird Sings” that’s a Black classic. Maya is iconic. So along the way I have bought Black classics at the half price book store with plans to read them one day. I have read some of her poems. But, I don’t understand the guilt over not reading Maya Angelou’s classic book since hearing of her passing.
Her story is no different than some Black women. Maya was bounced back and forth from mother to grandparents during her childhood. I know quite a few women, including myself, who are half raised by mom and half raised by grandparents. And then there’s the rape that sets Maya apart from the rest of us or most of us. After being raped at 8 years old by her mom’s boyfriend she didn’t speak for almost 5 years. There are some Black women today that have lived through a childhood tainted with molestation and rape and can identify with Maya while others can only sympathize.
The years since “Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Maya has produced more autobiography and memoirs even at the age of 85 years old she penned yet another autobiography titled “Mom & Me & Mom.” I would love to read this one. I wonder what her relationship was like with her mother especially after the rape.
I admire Maya and I‘m sure many have been inspired by her. There is no doubt that her legacy will live on.