How Maya Angelou Influenced Me

Posted by Kristie Glenn on

Maya Angelou passed away today at the age of 86.  My heart was broken to hear the news and my thoughts immediately flashed back to thoughts on how she influenced me.  As a little girl, I remember always having my nose in a book and there were only two types of things that I read at the time.  It was either an adult fiction book that I was too young to fully understand or poetry by Maya Angelou.  At that age, she reminded me of my Grandma.  And since I was always taught to be attentive to what elders say, I always took note of the powerful yet simple statements she made.  After reading her work and seeing her interact on television throughout the years, I realized more and more the meaning behind the things I was reading back then.  I mean her poem, Phenomenal Women, was something that I memorized backwards and forwards, literally!  Understanding her work helped to shaped some of my thoughts as a woman.  She was one of the strong women who influenced me to want to be who I am and not what others want me to be.  She also taught me how to not take things so seriously and that our destiny is based on us!  Along with many other lifelong messages.  Thank you, Ms. Maya Angelou.  May she rest in peace.  Here are some of her words to live by:      

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." 

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud"

"When someone shoes you who they are, believe them the first time"

And this excerpt from Phenomenal Women, showed me about my power as a women.

"I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman


She was teaching women how to use our gifts.  Now, do you see how strong her words are?  How did May Angelou influence you?