Maya Angelou

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Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou

New book provides a sampling of icon’s wonderful words
 
“‘Words mean more than what is set down on paper,’ Maya Angelou wrote in her groundbreaking memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Indeed, Angelou’s words have traveled the world and transformed lives — inspiring, strengthening, healing…

Now, in this collection of sage advice, humorous quips, and pointed observations culled from the author’s great works… Maya Angelou’s spirit endures… A treasured keepsake as well as a beautiful tribute to a woman who touched so many, Rainbow in the Cloud reminds us that ‘If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.’”

— Excerpted from the book jacket

Dr. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928. She overcame a traumatic childhood to blossom into a world-renowned poet, author, educator, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

 

Earth, Wind & Fire

Thu., Aug. 14, 8 pm

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel,

2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake

Go to www.mysticlake.com

 

 

Guitar Shorty

Sat., Aug. 16, 9 pm

Pizza Lucé Downtown, 119 4th St. N., Minneapolis

Go to http://pizzaluce.com

 

 

 

 

Summer Set Music & Camping Festival

With music by Wu-Tang Clan, Flying Lotus, Chance the Rapper, Chromeo, and more;

food and beverage vendors; camping. Fri.-Sun., Aug. Continue Reading →

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The torch has been passed

The passing of Chokwe Lumumba, William Worthy, Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, Elombe Braath, Sam Greenlee and Vincent Harding in the last few months marks a turning of the page for Black people in this country. If you don’t know the history and the accomplishment of these great people, each having contributed a unique page to the struggle of the former slave to be seen simply as human and be afforded the rights and dignity of human beings, then get to know them. They were all activists in their own right: a novelist, a theologian and liberationist, a warrior poet, an anti-imperialist radical journalist, a staunch pan-Africanist, a poet laureate and a ground-breaking politician. They have left a gaping hole. Their legacies await fulfilling. Continue Reading →

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Desecrating Maya Angelou’s funeral

When news circulated that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, was planning to protest the “home-going” service of our nation’s most beloved citizen, poet, author, civil rights activist, and sister-sage to us all, Dr. Maya Angelou, there was a collective gasp of disbelief. Rev. Fred Phelps’ legacy, to no one’s surprise, is hate. And his signature stamp is turning funerals into circuses by exploiting the First Amendment. He elevated his hateful platform onto a national stage in 1998 by picketing Matthew Shepard’s funeral with homophobic epithets and his signature “shock and awe” placards of lewd and sexually graphic distortions of gay men. When the notorious demagogue died this March, many thought the seeds of hatred he sowed died with him. Continue Reading →

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The tragedy of guns in the streets

Another senseless death
 

Maya Angelou passed May 28. She had her finger “on the pulse of morning.” She had her “caged bird” sing a prayer of freedom to rise above the “bitter, twisted lies” people of color must contend with, for, as she wrote, “Still I rise.”

The caged bird sings in classic Black gospel fashion, lifting up a prayer through its tears, yearning to be free. May our leaders raise their song for freedom too, rather than acquiesce to the gun songs that cage our young people or the bureaucratic dependency programs that cage their parents. A 17-year-old was shot and killed June 1st on the 1600 block of Newton Avenue N. His death fosters another round of talking about solutions but not attempting to open cage doors. Unless you have lost a child to violence, its hard to know and understand the feeling. Continue Reading →

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Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

How does one pay adequate tribute to the legacy of Maya Angelou, the beloved historic icon and cultural treasure who passed away on May 28? Her enduring presence as an enlightening, empowering beacon to which the hearts and minds of Black women faithfully were drawn, after all, marked her as an individual of inestimable consequence whose like we quite probably will never see again. Dr. Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, advanced from an auspicious literary debut, publishing her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings with the aid of James Baldwin, who would become a lifelong friend, to a titanic career that spanned more than a half century. Her accomplishments included, in far from a complete listing, a film rendition of the book starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee; six more autobiographies; acting turns in The Richard Pryor Special?, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion; as well as stints directing (Down In The Delta, starring Alfre Woodward, featuring Al Freeman, Jr), producing (Sister, Sister with Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll and Paul Winfield), and scoring film soundtracks (For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier). She is best known for her vast volume of poetry, most notably “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1994 inauguration. Continue Reading →

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Remembering an influential legend

Yesterday, May 28th,my day started out like many others before it. I tuned into WBGO and heard the voice of the host of Mid-Day Jazz, Rhonda Hamilton. Instantly I could sense sadness in her tone, and then she said it: “Dr. Maya Angelou has passed at the age of 86.”

Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. She was a phenomenal woman, prolific writer, poet, and civil rights activist, among many other things. What I will remember most is hearing her talk in Minneapolis at the State Theatre on October 23, 2012, as part of a series of talks presented by the Star Tribune, called Unique Lives, and Experiences. Continue Reading →

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A conversation with Maya Angelou

Renaissance woman speaks on Tyler Perry, Obama and ‘the sweet language’
By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

In remembrance of  author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
This article was originally published in October 18, 2012 edition of the MSR.

 

 

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Maya Angelou is a renowned “renaissance woman” who as a teenager became San Francisco’s first Black female cable-car conductor, and worked with both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

James Baldwin helped guide her toward working on what would become her first of over 30 best-selling books. A three-time Grammy winner, she also has written for the stage, screen and television, and her poetry is legendary.  

Last week, Dr. Angelou (MA) called the MSR from her home and talked about her life present and future. Following are excerpts from that conversation. Continue Reading →

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Amiri Baraka dies at age 79

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

In 1964, Amiri Baraka (then going by his given name LeRoi Jones) stood the American Theatre on its ear with the wildly controversial, Obie Award-winning drama Dutchman. He never equaled that success again, but his name and lasting fame had been solidly established, enhanced by the 1967 film version starring Al Freeman, Jr. (Malcolm X, Once Upon A Time…When We Were Colored) and directed by Anthony Harvey (The Lion In Winter, The Glass Menagerie). The story, a rite-of-passage saga for African American males, depicted the explosive self-realization of a young, middle-class man shattering the veneer of social convention to assert his Blackness. Baraka’s career began in the early ’60s among New York City’s bohemian elite most notably with his book Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note and his founding of Totem Press, which published the works of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. One of the most highly-regarded writers and controversial figures of his generation, he is hailed as a primary architect of the historic Black Arts Movement, which — also in the ’60s — saw the emergence of playwright Ed Bullins, poets Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez, and novelists Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed. Continue Reading →

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Three jazz artists producing quality material

 

 

 

What does it mean to work with a high level of musicality? Three cutting-edge musicians with new albums out — veteran artists Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and rising star Gerald Clayton —certainly know the answer to that question. And for their enduring creative efforts, their passionate music is wooing the world. Trumpeter Payton, bassist McBride, and pianist Clayton, all composers and bandleaders in their own rights, as well as Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists, also continue to capture the attention of critics the world over with some of the most accessible new music that I’ve heard this year, so far. They may not be appearing on bandstands with their own bands at our local jazz clubs in support of their albums anytime soon, but at least two of them are no strangers to the Jazz Showcase bandstand in Chicago. Continue Reading →

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