Remembering Maya Angelou…

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;

And to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”

Being an organisation that celebrates Women in Leadership, we would like to dedicate this space to the memory of Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away on the 28th of May, 2014.

Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Maya Angelou donned many roles in her lifetime. She was an acclaimed poet and with more than 30 best-selling titles. She was a screen play writer and won the Pulitzer Prize for her script of the movie, Georgia Georgia.

She was acclaimed dancer and actor, and an editor for a number of publications.

A staunch Civil Rights activist, she has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and has received three Grammy Awards.

At 16, Angelou became San Francisco’s first female street car driver.

As reported on CNN, Angelou’s legacy was twofold. She leaves behind a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. But what she is specially remembered for is being a woman who fought for justice, education and equality.

But the overwhelming part of her life story is where it all began.

Angelou grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.

When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him. Driven by the logic that her voice had killed him, she stopped speaking for nearly six years. In those six years she memorised 60 Shakespearean Sonnets, all the poems by Edgar Allan Poe and Paul Laurence Dunbar.  She attributes her amazing memory and her power to learn to that period of her life.

The following article is an interview in which she reveals facets of her life that made her the formidable woman she was. It is culmination of her experiences in life, her relationship with her mother and grandmother and the philosophies that drove her.

An inspirational read for everyone who believes in the self-drawn lines called limitations:

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