Would you call Dr. Maya Angelou "dog faced" and ugly in a room full of black people? L did.
Remember L? She's our resident carnival-barker at work and she's certainly entitled to her opinion, but just as my conversation with Muddy about Steve Irwin proves, perspective makes major difference in how things are viewed.
I found L's comments, especially numerous cracks she made about Ms. Angelou's poems being 'horrible,' highly inappropriate, but I was only half as offended as my other co-worker, V, who is a massive poetry and spoken word fan.
I felt it was appropriate to post a picture of Ms. Angelou and one of her best known poems as proof that she's no hack, nor is she a hag.
Still I Rise
by 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.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.