“Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am that Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.
I, the Rock, I, the River, I, the Tree
I am yours – your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.”
Maya Angelou 1928-2014
from “On the Pulse of Morning”
American author, poet, educator, actress, playwright, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou is regarded as one of the most influential voices of contemporary time. Active in the Civil Rights movement, she worked with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was internationally acclaimed. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and three Grammy Awards, she was respected as a spokesperson for African Americans and women.