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Monday, 23 March, 2009 2:10 AM
Dr. Maya Angelou sends a message of forgiving and healing at the Max M. Fisher Music Center
Photo credit: johngushue.typepad.com
Dr. Maya Angelou
DETROIT -- The Max Fischer Music Hall was packed March 18 as people from all walks of life gathered to hear the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, at an event hosted by Metro Parent Magazine.
Angelou, described by Dr. Deborah Watson as one of the world’s most powerful women, started her talk with a 19th century song that was inspired by a statement in Genesis. The song lyrics spoke of a rainbow appearing in the clouds, which happened to be the topic of Angelou’s talk.
Alison Denommey, from Romulus, said that the best part of Angelou’s talk was how open and relaxed the atmosphere was. “It was as if we were sitting in her living room,” Denommey said.
Denommey, has respected Angelou’s work since she was a kid and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Angelou.
All the sponsors of the event echoed sentiments of being involved in something that will help them pass on a better world to the future generation.
Angelou said she was glad to be in Detroit at this point in time because she sees it as “recovering.” Throughout the speech, Angelou focused on subthemes of forgiveness and healing.
Attendee Elease Smith said one of her favorite topics was forgiveness. “It’s very hard to forgive,” Smith said.
Despite the difficultly of forgiveness, Angelou maintains that it is a key to life. “If we forgive ourselves we might be able to forgive ourselves,” Angelou said.
During the talk, Angelou shared many painful moments of her life to illustrate her points. After being raped by her stepfather, she voluntarily stopped speaking. “I thought my voice had killed him,” she said. “So I stopped speaking.”
Angelou’s grandmother, who she affectionately referred to as momma, told her that when God and Angelou were ready, she would become a teacher. Angelou has taught classes in French and Spanish in addition to English and lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad. Currently, Angelou is a Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Another one of Angelou’s acetones to illustrate how unknowingly one can impact another person life surrounded the death of her uncle Willie. “In so many ways we can be rainbows in people’s clouds,” she said, “and when you yourself are recovering that’s the time to do it. Introduce courtesy again. “
As Angelou told the story, it was revealed that her Uncle Willie unknowingly touched the life of two men that in turn helped Angelou when he died.
Lori Robinson, editor of African-American Family, said that one of the important things she learned from Angelou’s life was that no matter what tragedy or trauma one has experienced in this life, the spirit that Angelou has should be displayed.
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