Maya Angelou
Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler and Richard A. Long
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Buy *Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration* by Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler and Richard A. Long online

Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration
Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler and Richard A. Long
208 pages
April 2008
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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I heard Dr. Maya Angelou speak on National Public Radio about the recent release, Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration, that celebrates eighty years of her life. My first indulgence in the captivating words of Maya Angelou was her bestselling book I Know Why Caged Birds Sing, which inspired my heart to believe in a woman’s ability to stand triumphant with dignity and determination.

In Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration, an intimate portrayal of a woman loved by many, is depicted through the eyes of her niece, Rosa Johnson Butler, and close friends, Richard A. Long and founding editor of Essence Marcia Ann Gillespie. Bold, bright illustrations celebrate Angelou’s life, with never-before-seen journal entries and personal photos. OprahWinfrey captivates the reader’s attention with marvelous observations and loving thoughts about Angelou in the book’s foreword:

“She has a certain way of being in the world. When you walk into a room and she’s there, you know it. She is fully aware of what it is to be human, and to share that humanity with others.”
Descriptive narratives highlight the spirit of a woman’s heart and soul throughout the pages of this read. I marvel at Angelou’s courage to prevail over childhood tragedies and find hope in the midst of darkness. An excerpt includes,
“My mother has had a more profound influence on me since I've been an adult than she did as a child. I've come to the conclusion that some adults are not really qualified to be parents of young children. They make much better parents of adults. My mother is that type.”
At the age of eight, Angelou became mute after she was raped. During six years of silence, her love of books developed. Set free by coming to terms with the truth of her past, Angelou overcame even the unspeakable. Years, later, Angelou’s voice creates and makes the spoken word, come alive. Her creative genius is evident. Eloquent forms of poetry, reflections, journal entries and annotations shared by those near and dear to her heart, provide insight into a woman who has made and continues to make a mark in history.

I absolutely loved this read, a beautiful keepsake book which invites conversation between friends, which nurtured my own spirit and stretched my imagination to believe in even the unimaginable. You intimately understand after this read that Angelou can and does light up a room.

Personal portrayals of Angelou - the humanitarian, acclaimed poet, bestselling author, playwright, mother and friend - are woven throughout the canvas of A beautiful keepsake book which invites conversation between friends. She is a flower that stands out for the world to witness, and once you encounter her, the viewer knows that she is one of kind.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Laura Ponticello, 2008

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