Maya Angelou on Michael Jackson's Passing

Here is an interesting piece, as only Maya Angelou can express it:

Go and hug your “Michael” by Maya Angelou…

Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn't understand him. I cried for a little black
boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood. And I thought about all the
young black boys out there who may too feel that the world doesn't understand
them. The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder. I worry that my son, may too, one day will feel lonely
in a wide, wide world.

I cried for the young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their soul.
What a burden to carry.

As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a
child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that
she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle
with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know he often felt unloved
even while the world loved him deeply. How does it feel to think that the
unconditional love we give as mothers just isn't enough to make our children
feel whole? I wonder if she still suffers thinking, "what more could I have
done?" Even moms of music legends aren't immune to mommy guilt, I suppose.

When Rev. Al Sharpton ("who always delivers one" awesome "funeral speech") said
to Michael's children, "Your daddy was not strange....It was strange what your
Daddy had to deal with," I thought of all the "strange" things of the world that
my children will have to deal with. Better yet, the things I hope they won't
ever have to deal with anymore.

And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little
confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on
the world. Especially a "strange" one. To love himself enough to know that even
when the world doesn't understand you, tries to force you into its mold or
treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful, strong and Black. How do I do

Today, I am taking back "childhood" as an inalienable right for every brown
little one. In a world, that makes children into booty-shaking, mini-adults long
before their time, I'm reclaiming the playful, innocent, run-around-outside,
childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults. Second, I will not
rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is
beautiful, his chocolatey brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is

And nothing or no one can ever take that away from him.

"Now aint we bad? And ain't we black? And ain't we fine? ---Maya Angelou

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Comment by SheSheMeMe on August 3, 2009 at 11:47pm
Maya Angelou is a woman that can touch your soul by the words she speaks when it come from her heart. it is always a comfort to my ears to a poem from her. As a mother I can never imange what it would be like to lose a child even as your young one grows up that child will always be a baby to you. My heart goes out to Mrs. Jackson and her family, and also Michael children.
Comment by Karen on August 3, 2009 at 10:32pm
Wow, i think about Mrs. Katherine and I hope she sleep well i cant imagine life without my son. My baby and i know that no good parent want their child to hurt and you dont want them to feel doubt. I pray for her and i hope Michael will rest in peace
Comment by Virginia M. on August 3, 2009 at 10:15pm
Comment by kerry on August 3, 2009 at 10:15pm
Maya thank you from the bottom of my inner lost little black boy soul. As your words uplift me I shall help to uplift those other young souls who suffer from this same longing,wondering where they belong in the world Thank you again.
Comment by Kendra Johnson on August 3, 2009 at 8:46pm
Well said Ms. Angelou! Michael's death is a sad one for me as well- when I hear that a man who had so much and loved so much was still lonely, it's a proven fact that no matter how much money you may have or how big your family may be, you can still feel lonely and without. It saddens me that people capitalized and are still capitalizing off his name and then when they thought he was guilty of molesting those young boys, for example, they immediately thought the worse and wanted to hang him dry. This is why it frustrates me to the hilt when we as Americans have the nerve to condemn and talk about what other countries do to us and look how we do our own people in this country-we have hung, lied, accused, dehumanized and everything above to those right here in America. That's ok, because at the end of the day, those that have done wrong and you know who you are, you have to live with it and if conviction does not take place in your heart, shame on you! Rest in peace Michael, because there are so many people who will continue to love you and the music you left behind!
Comment by ssandra-"God's Gift" on August 3, 2009 at 7:45pm
There it is! I love you maya!
Comment by SirLaundria on August 3, 2009 at 6:12pm
Maya is my Girl.......I love my 6 beautiful Black sons! May God keep all of our sons safe strong and blessed..........May you R.I.P....Micheal...And to all the Beautiful Black Men out there just know there are still plenty of us Beautiful Black Women who care for you and what happens to you...
Comment by Mary Gilliam on August 3, 2009 at 5:52pm
Michael was a lost little boy in a man world. You will never make me believe he did the crimes he was accused off but unfortunately someone saw a young black man with lots of resources saw his weakness used it to their advantage. But believe what you sow you will reap it the ones that hurt him will pay someday.
Comment by CRESSIE SHANTRES HOPKINS on August 3, 2009 at 5:51pm
Ms. Angelou always knows how to sum it up into the most beautiful words that can ever be spoken.
Comment by jawan bey on August 3, 2009 at 5:29pm
The story of Michael Jackson's life engenders many thoughtful points of view. Some are controversial, some are inspirational, but all these sentiments are nothing more than a reflection and affirmation of our collective insecurities and jaded idiosyncrasies. Michael Jackson challenged us to face our differences. He challenged us to love in spite of hate. His life was a song that didn't matter if it was Black or White. He turned up the collar of his favorite winter coat because the cold wind of acrimony and disaffection was blowing his mind. He saw the kids in the street without enough to eat so he sent out a clarion call announcing that We Are The World, we are the children. We are the ones that make a brighter day so let's start giving. Michael Jackson truly was the man in the mirror. His life is a testament to the pure at heart. It is no wonder that he died from cardiac arrest because his heart was arrested when he was falsely accused of child molestation. I say without doubt that he was falsely accused because Michael Jackson loved children with a childlike affection. That is why he thought nothing of sharing his bed with them especially when it was the children who wanted sleep in his bed so they could feel the kind of closeness with him as they had with their own mother or father. His life's purpose was to bring joy to the most innocent of us, not despoil the sanctity of the heart and mind of any child. He spent millions of dollars to create a place where children can escape the harsh realities of the world and laugh and play. Many of us just can't believe he was truly an innocent soul because we are so corrupted by the wickedness in this world. I remember the time when the verdict came in from his first trial. I was standing on the platform of the 47th and 50th street subway station in mid-town Manhattan when at the top of the first level of stairs leading up to the street a Black, middle aged, heavy set Jamaican woman stood shouting at the top of her lungs, "Michael Jackson is innocent! Michael Jackson is innocent!" She just kept shouting it over and over with tears streaming down her face. What was amazing to me at the time was that the usual hustling, bustling and noisy crowd was quiet and still the whole time she stood there shouting. The only thing that broke the passion of this poignant moment was the roar of an oncoming train, and even that didn't disrupt the emotion of that pronouncement.

After all the memorials, tributes and accolades, after all the testimonials and legal issues are concluded; one thing more than anything else will stand alone in my mind to be true. It won't be that Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, or the greatest entertainer that ever lived; it will be what that Jamaican woman shouted as she stood crying on the steps of the subway. MICHAEL JACKSON IS INNOCENT. And if the Dalai Lama is the Buddha of Compassion, Michael Jackson is most definitely the Ambassador of Innocence.


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