Maya Angelou Walked With Me

Written by Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy                              mac@arise2ptoh.com / 202 322-8561sunrise-182302
I invited one of my most revered sages to join me on a walk around Oakland’s Lake Merritt – and she graciously accepted. I needed to hear some “Womyn Wisdom.” I  suspected Maya might have some Balm of Gilead for my soul.

After donning my pair of pink and white headphones, gifted to me about my business partner/BBF, Akilah Monifa, with the purple wire attached, Her Excellency, Maya Angelou, began to teach, exhort, and correct in her rich voice, commanding respect, that emanated from her audio book, as she read from “Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey” She spoke of love, love for ones self and from that love, love for one another.

She called to memory a particular course on spirituality – known as the Course on Miracles. The great Ms. Angeleou, then, 24, described herself as erudite, attractive, well-traveled, and very well read. Her professor asked to her to read a passage from a text that concluded with with these words: “God Loves Me.”

To her chagrin, he had her read it five more times. Then, reading the passage for the seventh time, as what some might call, lectio divina, which translates to “Divine Reading” it was on that occasion – reading the same passage that ended with “God Loves Me” –  that Maya said she began to cry. Prior to this time, she said was an agnostic; but this passage erupted in her – bringing her to tears. She said in that instance, it brought her to the awareness that if God loved [her] she could do anything.

But she didn’t stop there. Maya recounted the memory of her Grandmother rising each morning, standing erect, her feet solidly placed on the earth, her shoulders firmly squared atop her body, and then Maya’s grandmother, would lift her head skyward, and say, “This Day – I’m Going to Stand on the Word of God.” ‘

Can’t you see it your own mind’s eye – a woman who lived in a time when she was discriminated against, not only on the basis of her race and ethnicity – but her gender as well.

Knowing that Black and Brown people, “down through the years” as a gospel lyricist writes, all people of color, women, LGBTQ communities, poor people, differently-abled people, incarcerated people, homeless and hungry people, immigrants and often our youth, have taken this declarative stance in situations when the world around us call our self worth into question.

So, in honor of International Women’s Month – in honor , lets consider this strident stance. “This Day – I’m Going to Stand on the Word of God.”

#internationalwomensmonth #blackvoices  #LQBGTQ. #mayangelou #women

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