To be honest, I knew nothing of Maya Angelou until I was in my late twenties. I happened upon her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, while visiting family in Ohio. I remember it was late at night and I couldn’t sleep so I raided the bookcase in my room looking for something to read. By the light of a bedside lamp, I read her book from beginning to end. Little did I know the profound affect Maya Angelou would have and continues to have on my world view. She reinforced in me the soul-knowledge I carry, that first and foremost, I am a human being, deserving of respect and dignity, and all the labels put on me, or boxes the world expected me to check, would never change that fact. To this day, I refuse to check those boxes!
Like many people, I was captivated by the hypnotic richness of her voice. I swear, every time I listen to her, even now, I am transported to wherever she wants to take me, hoping to learn something new about myself as a woman, as a human being; and I usually do. But the gift of her voice, at least for me, is not only in the words she spoke, or the songs she sang, and the truths she told, it is in the power, freedom, and joy I have come to know in reclaiming and owning my own voice and sharing it with each of you who listen to my podcast.
Maya is the Bright Lighter that makes my heart smile and my soul sing as I rejoice in all the things that come with being truly, Me.