Maya Angelou remembered

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 30, 2014

On Wednesday the great poet Maya Angelou died.

This is the woman who gave us quotes like, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

She was the product of a tremulous marriage, and when she was 4 years old, she was sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Angelou had a few happy years with her grandmother before her father came to Arkansas and returned her and her brother to their mother.

From then on, Angelou’s life was an uphill struggle.

It was those struggles that inspired her first book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

If you’ve ever read the story of Angelou’s life until she was 17 years old, you will have some understanding of what I’m referring too.

But despite it all, she persevered.

During her long life and before she found her writing voice, she worked as a prostitute, cook, and streetcar conductor, along with many other jobs.

When some people are handed adversity and tragedy, they let it consume them. Angelou was able to take her life struggles and turn them into inspiration for others.

Her positive outlook on life is probably what allowed her to say, “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

Over the course of her 86 years on Earth, Angelou was not only a writer and poet who redefined the autobiographical literary style. She was a civil rights activist, a mother, a playwright, a producer, and professor.

Angelou once wrote, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not be reduced by them.”

Take a tip from Angelou and keep your head held high.