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By: SASHA BONÉT
The late Dr. Maya Angelou (1928–2014) stopped speaking for five years after being raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She silenced herself because her eight-year-old mind believed that her voice had killed a man. He had been found in a parking lot, stomped to death, presumably by her uncles. She questioned whether he would still be alive if it weren’t for her telling the truth. PBS’s recently aired documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise quells Angelou’s worries by showing some of America’s most influential people express how her audacity to speak vividly about both suffering and joy had kept them alive. President Bill Clinton, who grew up just twenty-five miles from Stamps, the Arkansas town that Angelou was raised in, once invited Angelou to his kitchen table during his tenure as the governor of that state. He asked her if she thought that he could be president. She told him not only that he could, but that he must. “She had the voice of God,” he says. Read MorePages: 1 2 3
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