“We are loved by Love itself. There is nothing good that we can’t do.”
Maya Angelou is a celebrated African American poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, actress, producer, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. In 1970 her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published to international acclaim and enormous popular success. The list of her published verse, nonfiction, and fiction now includes more than thirty bestselling titles. Her screenplay Georgia, Georgia, the first by an African American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, as was her volume of poetry Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’Fore I Diiie. She was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s, was active in the civil rights movement, and served as northern coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008, has received three Grammy Awards, and has been awarded more than thirty honorary degrees. She has been a professor at Wake Forest University since 1991, the recipient of the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies there. She is the mother of one son, Guy, and resides in Winston- Salem, North Carolina. (www.MayaAngelou.com)
Many people requested Maya Angelou as one of the people whose greatest epiphany they’d like to know about, and her interview remains one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I was a little tongue-tied when I first heard that famous, mellifluous voice on the other end of the phone, but of course Dr. Angelou was warm, calm, and composed, and at the same time quite passionate, when she told her stories. She truly is a master of the spoken and written word, and having the honor of experiencing that powerful mastery and the story and message she shared still moves me. “There is nothing good that we can’t do.”… I’ve never heard this sentiment expressed exactly this way – or maybe ever. It’s such a clear, strong, positive stance about the human condition. I find myself ruminating on it all the time, and it has proven to be a great tool to turn my mind around, especially when feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.
To read Dr. Angelou’s epiphany from the book and get an in-depth, behind-the-scenes experience of what the interview was like and how it changed my life, please click here.