The legendary and worldly Maya Angelou, who recently passed away, was like a cat with nine lives. She had such diverse and wide-ranging occupations in her lifetime as a poet, civil-rights activist, author, singer, strip-joint dancer — and later a stage dancer — a college teacher, music composer, running a brothel, a playwright, screenwriter, an actress, movie director, a maker of greeting cards and a radio-show host.
It was as if the multitalented Angelou were reincarnated, as she accomplished more in one lifetime as many would accomplish in three.
She received several honors, including being nominated for an Emmy for her role as in the groundbreaking Roots, a Tony, captured three Grammys, received an honorary National Book Award and was awarded the National Medal of Freedom, our country’s highest civilian honor.
Surviving childhood rape and racism, the tall, regal and stately Angelou became the voice of love, hope, peace, unity, equality, survival, forgiveness and tolerance. Though African American, she became the voice for us all, particularly the powerless.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.