Why Mare of Easttown might not return for season 2, according to the creator
Why Mare of Easttown might not return for season 2, according to the creator

Holly O'Neill

6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4
6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4

Jennifer McShane

A dark bungalow is transformed into an airy family home in Brittas Bay
A dark bungalow is transformed into an airy family home in Brittas Bay

Orla Neligan

Irish hotels to book that are a destination in themselves
Irish hotels to book that are a destination in themselves

Megan Burns

Maura Higgins ‘so excited’ to be involved in new Irish makeup show ‘Glow Up’
Maura Higgins ‘so excited’ to be involved in new Irish makeup show ‘Glow Up’

Sarah Finnan

‘Everyone who did this should be in jail’: Britney Spears on her devastating conservatorship
‘Everyone who did this should be in jail’: Britney Spears on her devastating conservatorship

Jennifer McShane

Britney Spears: Read her full statement against conservatorship
Britney Spears: Read her full statement against conservatorship

Holly O'Neill

Paris Hilton and the physical, verbal and emotional abuse she suffered while at boarding school
Paris Hilton and the physical, verbal and emotional abuse she suffered while at boarding school

Lauren Heskin

A complete breakdown of Britney Spears, her conservatorship and the #FreeBritney movement
A complete breakdown of Britney Spears, her conservatorship and the #FreeBritney movement

Lauren Heskin

Always craving more sleep? These 5 signs mean you’re not getting enough
Always craving more sleep? These 5 signs mean you’re not getting enough

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Maya Angelou


by Bill O'Sullivan
28th May 2014
blank

The author dies at 86 and we remember how she made history

The author and activist Maya Angelou passed away earlier today at the age of 86. Her last tweet was a beautifully apt, ?Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.? Angelou had made history with her memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which became the first bestselling non-fiction book by an African-American woman.

Angelou’s writing became known for its candid portrayal of the racial segregation and tensions she witnessed and experienced as a child. Her writing centred around the idea of overcoming insurmountable obstacles whatever their nature, be they racial, sexual, emotional or psychological. One of our favourite quotes of hers is “I love to see a young girl go out and grab life by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

Born in 1928, Angelou famoulsy lived a disrupted childhood, frequently on the road, which she most recently recollected in her 7th memoir Mom And Me And Mom. Aged 7 she was one of the key witnesses in a trial against her mother’s then partner, who was on trial for raping her. She vividly describes the key moment when she witnessed the man later being chased down and murdered by a crowd upon being released from prison, an event that led Angelou to stop speaking for close to 6 years.

A life-long civil rights activist, she was a protege of James Baldwin’s and had met Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr several times, as well as being a prominent member of the Harlem Writers Guild. One of her most prominent proteges and admirers has been Oprah Winfrey.

In one of her last interviews given to Time, she talked about how her next book, her 23rd book, was going to take all of her to write. A bastion of strength and humour til the end, it seems only appropriate to remember her with one of her best-loved poems.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
?Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
?Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin? in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
What to eat this weekend: Fish n’ courgette chips with homemade tartar sauce

This healthy fish and courgette chips recipe from Jane Kennedy is the perfect weekend supper. The humble courgette is transformed...

By Meg Walker

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Suddenly alive again’: The heartbreaking joy of finding a deceased loved one on Google Maps street view

“I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view, the house where I grew up. It says...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Book gift ideas for every kind of reader

Anyone who said books and socks make for boring gifts has clearly never received a delightfully absorbing book or a...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Social media’s obsession with filtering faces is a form of self-gaslighting’

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We went to the zoo today – and life felt deliciously normal’

What’s seldom is truly wonderful, writes Amanda Cassidy Dublin Zoo has been the backdrop to our children’s lives – birthday...

By Amanda Cassidy

Vegan
EDITORIAL
Delicious vegan-friendly spots to try for a weekend brunch in Dublin

Check out three of our favourite vegan/veggie-friendly spots in Dublin worth trying this weekend. The best bit? Chances are, even...

By Jennifer McShane

Sleep cycle during Covid-19
EDITORIAL
How to get your sleep schedule back on track during lockdown, according to a sleep technologist

Many of us are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Covid-19, explains sleep technologist Breege Leddy. But there are...

By Katie Byrne