There have been many personalities to “pass on” but never have I felt a loss as deep as when I opened my email to discover that Maya Angelou was no longer of this earth. No more newly knitted words crafted from the woman who exclaimed
” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. / I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size… ” *
giving pride to this and all black girls with too many too’s to ever be considered beautiful- too fat, too loud, too black, too ugly… But yet in spite of all my “too’s” my milkshake can still bring the boys to my yard, because Dr. Angelou told me so.
She also gave us haughty permission to swivel our hips to the beat of an unheard of ancestral drum all the while celebrating the very essence of womanhood.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Baby!! Still I Rise gives new meaning to diamond life.
Maya Angelou’s greatness will forever live through her poetry, her boldness and her life that was clearly lived out loud. She has many legacies which is ultimately the greatest testimony to a life well lived but for me, her break down of what it means to be truly phenomenal, beyond societies expectations, outside the realm of normal standards of beauty has always put a little more starch in my backbone… A bit more arch in my step and given me the ability to revel in the fact that I am indeed phenomenal…
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
*Excerpted poetry from Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” and Phenomenal Woman