Maya Angelou, touching lives
May 28, 2014
October 22, 1982: Bill Moyer’s Creativity series on PBS opens with a segment in Stamps, Arkansas, the home of a young Maya Angelou. This television segment is a tribute to this astounding woman as she shares her personal story of growth and healing in the aftermath of tragedy. During the 80s, I screened this for hundreds or maybe thousands of teachers and students to enliven their understanding of how transformation is possible in spite of tremendous obstacles, as a lens into remarkable courage and leadership.
I saw this program so many times I had it memorized and would particularly love listening to and experiencing the cadence of Maya’s voice. During the episode she describes being raped as a child and not speaking for years after, because after she said the name of who raped her, he was killed. A glorious woman in Stamps brought her voice out through the discovery of literature, in particular it was the reading of Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Pure rapture to hear her tell this story. At the end of the episode Maya stands before a classroom of children in Stamps, introducing them to poetry in her inimitable style and fashion. And then she tells them they can be whoever they want to be, and do whatever they want to do in the world. And she lists the possibilities. A doctor. A teacher. A president. And the children’s eyes are wide and wider and then there is a shot of the school principal standing there and his eyes are the widest of all.
Maya Angelou truly opened my eyes and my heart. Such a gifted and giving soul. She has left words and spirit that we will carry forever. She is “a phenomenal woman.”
by Maya Angelou, 1928-2014
All the best in service,
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., CBK Associates firstname.lastname@example.org
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Learn more about service learning and resources galore—register now for the July 14-16, 2014 Summer Service Learning Institute: Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Learners in upstate NY at an all-inclusive setting led by Cathryn Berger Kaye, international service learning expert and author of The Complete Guide to Service Learning. During these comprehensive three days, explore ideas with colleagues from all over the world. Deepen understanding of best teaching practices applied to service learning and 21st century competencies. Make links to Common Core, IB or whatever your school priorities are during sessions designed with you in mind. Share ideas, grow possibilities and extend your connections with colleagues well beyond the event. Questions? Contact Cathy@cbkassociates.com. Register here.