At the recommendation of a friend I picked up Maya Angelou’s Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now and I promptly read it in a day. Each short essay brought a new thought and insight which I was quite grateful for. I think I might expound on some of these at a later date but for now I wanted to give you a couple of short glimpses into some of the essays, maybe to wet your appetite and encourage you to pick it up from your local library.
“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation. This is particularly difficult for me when my mind falls upon the cruel person, the batterer, and the bigot. I would like to think that the mean-spirited were created by another force and under the aegis and direction of something other than my God. But since I believe that God created all things, I am not only constrained to know that the oppressor is a child of God, but also obliged to try to treat him or her as a child of God.”
“There are a few misguided wits who think they are being complimentary when they declare a woman is “too much”. While it is admirable and desirable to be enough, only masochists want to be “too much.”…A certain amount of paranoia is essential in the oppressed or in any likely targets of oppressors.”
“The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough. She must have convinced herself, or be in the unending process of convincing herself, that she, her values, and her choices are important. In a time and world where males hold sway and control, the pressure upon women to yield their rights-of-way is tremendous. And it is under those very circumstances that the woman’s toughness must be in evidence.
She must resist considering herself a lesser version of her male counterpart. She is not a sculptress, poetess, Jewess, Negress, or even (now rare) in university parlance a rectoress. If she is the thing, than for her own sense of self and for the education of the ill-informed she must insist with rectitude in being the thing and in being called the thing. ”
“We need to have the courage to say obesity is not funny, vulgarity is not amusing, insolent children and submissive parents are not the characters we want to admire and emulate. Flippancy and sarcasm are not the only ways in which conversation can be conducted.
If the emperor is standing in my living room stripped to the buff, nothing should prevent me from saying that since he has no clothes on, he is not ready for public congress.
At any rate, not lounging on my sofa and munching on my trail mix.”