‘Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration’
Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler, and Richard A. Long, foreword by Oprah Winfrey
Life, they say, is meant to be enjoyed. Nobody ever looked back on their life and wished they had worked an extra day. Carpe diem. Never stop looking for opportunity and never stop having fun.
Chances are, your heroes took all of the above to heart. Their exuberance for life and their zest for experience are two traits that made them who they are.
The same goes for poet Maya Angelou. In the new book “Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration” (c.2008, Doubleday, $30.00 / $34.00 Canada, 192 pages, c.2008, Brilliance Audio, read by Dion Graham, $26.95, 3 CDs / appx. 3 hours) by Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler, and Richard A. Long (with foreword by Oprah Winfrey), you’ll read about the rich life of a modern American hero.
Marguerite Johnson was born in St. Louis on April 4, 1928, the second child and only daughter of her parents. When she was still a baby, the family moved to California, but the Johnson marriage collapsed soon afterward. Three-year-old Marguerite and her older brother, Bailey, were sent to Stamps, Arkansas to live with their grandmother.
Annie Henderson, Marguerite’s paternal grandmother gave the girl a good foundation and a stand-up-for-yourself spirit. Henderson was a formidable person in the community and a businesswoman, and her portrait is one of the three that Angelou looks at every day, even now.
As a typical teenager, Marguerite spread her wings and tested her maturity but her first encounter with intimacy resulted in a surprise. In 1945, at a time when unmarried pregnancy was scandalous, Marguerite became a mother. In 1951, she married Tosh Angelos, a man who would give her son a father and Marguerite, her last name.
Following her marriage, Marguerite decided to reach for a dream and become a dancer. At about this time, she changed her first name to “Maya” and tweaked her last name a bit. She wrote plays (often to critical scorn) and she was in great demand as a performer on and off-stage.
Following a divorce, Angelou married South African Vus Make and she gave up her career for her husband. The couple moved to Ghana for a time, but America called to Angelou. She returned stateside to work with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. and she began writing in earnest.
I was extremely fortunate to get this book both in paper form and on CD. The problem is, I can’t decide which one to recommend to you. I loved them both.
On one hand, I enjoy listening to Dion Graham, the narrator on the audiobook. Graham’s voice itself is like poetry, and his strong performance brings Dr. Angelou’s experiences to life.
On the other hand, I can’t imagine missing out on the photographs included in the book. Friends and followers of Dr. Angelou alike will find rarely-before-seen pictures in here, including some from Angelou’s early years and of her family.
As Dr. Maya Angelou proceeds through her eightieth decade, either of the versions of this wonderful, rich book would be great ways to fete her. “Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration” is a book about a life, lived, and one you will definitely enjoy.
We all know that Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are BFFs, and if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for his latest offerings that will air on OWN, Winfrey’s Network. First up, Perry’s first dramatic series, “The Have and Have Nots,” premiering May 28.
The show follows the complicated dynamics between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent Savannah, Ga., mansion.
This is a familiar story line, and Perry is going to have to bring it to keep viewers watching.
We’ve already covered how this is Beyoncé’s world, and the rest of us just live in it, so it’s no surprise the 31-year-old was able to pull Oprah Winfrey out to her HBO documentary premiere in New York on Tuesday night.
“I only did this for you!” Oprah told Bey on the red carpet. “I haven’t been on a red carpet in God knows when.”
Who is surprised that Lance Armstrong was doping? Who thinks he was the only one? Who is surprised that he used the Oprah Winfrey show as his platform to “come clean”? We are a nation of cheaters and Armstrong is one in a long line of our nation’s cheaters.
(CNN) -- It will take more than a television interview to reduce sanctions against Lance Armstrong, the World Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday as Oprah Winfrey spoke out about her interview with the disgraced cyclist.
"Only when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath -- and tells the anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities -- can any legal and proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence," agency Director General David Howman said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The founder of a Los Angeles-based nonprofit agency for African refugees was sentenced Friday to three years already served in custody in connection with her no contest plea to misappropriation of public funds and three other felony counts.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito said he would rule later on the issue of restitution in the case of Nigisti "Nikki" Tesfai, 58, who founded the African Community Resource Center.