Russell Mondy, via Flikr
Maya Angelou was a writer, poet, memoirist, civil rights activist, entertainer, director, producer, mom, friend…but she was most masterful at sharing her life with the perfect collections of words. We use the best one we can muster to share her remarkable life story. (And a lot of them, this is going to take three episodes.)
In this, Part Two of Maya’s story, we begin with a teenage Marguerite/Maya giving birth to her son, Clyde Bailey Johnson (who later changed his name to “Guy” so we use that through the rest of the episode…one name change per subject is enough, don’t you think?) We go through her tumultuous/exciting/brave/terrifying early adult years, her many jobs, her stage and singing career, her burgeoning civil rights activism, her life as a “wife” and journalist in Cairo, and, then, as a single mom and journalist in Ghana.
Aaaand then we stop. Why? Because we were so enthralled by her story that, after two full episodes, we had yet to get to the part where she starts writing books! In this episode we are still almost a decade out from her very first memoir, the thing she is most known for. Because there is so much left of Maya’s life to talk about, we decided not to race through it, but to break it into an unprecedented (for us) three-part series.
Part Three will be ready for your ears next week. All of the media recommendations will be in the shownotes for that episode.
Fannie giving her testimony in 1964 at the Democratic National Convention…despite the president’s attempts to silence her.
Fannie Lou Hamer was called the “Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” and, sometimes, “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement” and both are very appropriate. (more…)
This is not Mary Church Terrell, Part Two. That episode is coming as soon as we can finish it, but Ida and Mary’s lives crossed paths quite a bit and while you wait just a little longer for Mary, Part Two, we thought it would be a good idea to remember the life of this brave and brilliant writer and activist.
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Mary circa 1900, LOC
Mary Church Terrell was born the year that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, she died the year that U.S. schools became desegregated and she worked as a civil rights activist and suffragist in between to better the lives of African Americans. She lived such a full life (and we get to give a lot of background on the issues that she championed) we’re going to break this into two episodes. (more…)