Maya Angelou

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Maya Angelou Reads 'Still I Rise'

May 28, 2014

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And we're going to take a moment now to listen to one of Maya Angelou's best-known poems. Here she is, reading "Still I Rise."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

MAYA ANGELOU: You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

When I was 13, sex was something I was very interested in, but in a studious way. I wanted to know what had been done to me, as someone researches the keyhole surgery on their knee, after the event.

I had entered the second year of the six years when I didn't speak of the-thing-that-happened-to-me-when-I-was-11, and I was looking for explanations of that thing. And I was looking for ways to introduce the subject to my parents, so they would say, "Oooh, I understand," in an unemotional, chatty way, and we could get that thing out into the open.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.