Maya Angelou lived a full life we can all learn from
When I first heard the news of Maya Angelou’s passing, I was taken aback. Days before, it was noted on Angelou’s Facebook page a “medical emergency” caused her to miss the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game ceremony in which she was an honoree. It hadn’t entered my mind that she may have been gravely ill as, in Mother Angelou’s spirited fashion, she ended her post with “I am each day better.”
See, even in a time of what may have been illness, she simply rejoiced in living, as it was a lifelong event for her despite her trials. It is with this reasoning that I couldn’t continue to weep for Dr. Angelou, but find comfort in knowing she’s truly lived her life to the fullest only to get what she’s been destined and WANTED to do in the end: meet her maker.
How gleeful is that?! I’m happy for her because being the praying woman that she is, she’s resting with God and her mother and grandmother. For that I can only rejoice with her, while reflecting on the full life she’s had.
In the days following her death, like I do with many public figures, I viewed specials, watched interviews to get to know her better. And what I learned is even in her 80s, Dr. Angelou as a teacher who has learned, was still learning. While admitting her strengths (she acknowledged her intelligence in varying aspects of life in a Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey), she in the same breath fearlessly admits her weaknesses: she doesn’t know everything - though she may not consider lacking in all areas a weakness, but an opportunity for growth.
As I watched the interviews and specials that aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network, one thing that stood out to me was Dr. Angelou’s consistency. Her thoughts on courage (it’s going to take baby steps, but we can get there), education (when you learn, teach) and prayer remained linear, not even varying in verbiage. Maya Angelou, a lover of words, or “things” as she called them, was indeed a woman of her word.
But perhaps what’s most comforting in examining Maya Angelou’s life is she hasn’t sought to emulate anyone, maybe study the examples set before her and heed mother and grandmother’s, but she set out to be the best MAYA ANGELOU that MAYA ANGELOU could be. Her outlook on self-love promotion is perhaps the best lesson anyone could learn from her.
Angelou’s funeral is May 7 at 10 a.m. at Wake Forest University. While seating is limited to family and friends, the university will stream the service for the public.
News broke mid-afternoon that former child star and accomplished actor Lee Thompson Young passed away from a possible suicide Monday.
Whether you came to love Young as Jett Jackson on the hit Disney TV show of the same name who lived a double life on and off screen or saw the promise in him in scene stealing roles in Flash Forward, Friday Night Lights and Rizzoli and Isles, one thing was clear: Young was truly loved.
My time line was littered with “he was my childhood crush,” or “I used to tell my momma I was gonna marry him!” among praise for his work.
Aside from being a heartthrob, many were glad to see Young was struck by the Disney star curse that seems to happen all to often: child star made famous from hit child star role can’t break out of child star slump. It’s happened, but not to Young.
His fans were happy and it seemed he may be.
I won’t dwell on his death, but I will share something that most will find appalling, but helped me come to appreciate: though I loved The Famous Jett Jackson, I disliked his character primarily because he never seemed to pursue Kayla enough. I know it sounds funny, but I never understood why he wouldn’t want to be with someone just as intelligent as he was and more.
When I look back at it, the show meant more to me than swooning over a guy whose talent I’ve come to appreciate. It introduced me to real situations concerning a young woman in high school and how an around the way guy managed to stay down to Earth while staring on his fictionalized TV show.
Most importantly, it united me and friends for phone convos into the night about the next episode will be about.
My thoughts are with Young’s family and I thank them for sharing a talented young man with the world.
I went to a water park with my son this weekend. He’s an analytical kid and, even though he’s been talking about hitting the big slides all summer, once we got there he put the breaks on pretty fast. They were too fast, too tall, too crazy. We spent about 25 minutes just watching a fast tube…
It’s no secret that singer Usher Raymond and ex-wife Tameka have consistently been at odds over child custody, the most recent issue sparked by the near drowning of the duo’s child, Usher V. Both have given interviews on the custody debates, with the latter appearing on Good Morning America this week to give her side of the story.
I’d tell you what she said and Usher’s past statements, but I’ve longed stopped caring about who’s right and who’s wrong in this matter - and even more so the back and forth is exhausting. Their words at this point don’t matter; the courtroom battle isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) about them . It’s genuinely about their children and what’s best for them. I’m sure most would agree on that, but I’ve wondered if the parents realize the same thing?
While, none of us know the true picture, you can’t help but glimpse at either’s interviews and court room pictures and wonder what is the real matter at heart here: the kids or the incessant need to get back at the other?
I’m sure both care about the kids, but haggling over them as if they’re property - an actual thing, or non-human if you will - is irresponsible on both ends. At this point, as I’m sure others feel, I just hope the kids are happy.
I spent the summer grooming future journalists and reminiscing at VOX Teen Communications. VOX, as many call it, is a non-profit celebrating 20 years in youth development through written expression, team building skills and community outreach. I am proud to be apart of an organization that fostered my journalism ethics and skills, while allowing me to grow into the person I am today. Here’s a blog post I wrote about reporting week during VOX Media Cafe. Enjoy!
It’s that time again — EW is looking for a few good interns to work at the magazine this fall. More info in the want ad below.
The fall program is open to recent graduates who can work a 5-day, 35-hour week. We’re looking for applicants with strong writing and reporting skills who are passionate about entertainment.
WHEN Mid Aug 2013 to Mid Jan 2014 (application deadline: July 15)
HOW MUCH $10/hour.
WHAT Contribute blog posts, news briefs, interviews, on-the-scene reports, red carpet reporting, and recaps to EW.com and print. Also: organizing and opening mail, maintaining databases of entertainment events, answering reader mail, researching forthcoming articles.