Maya Angelou, counter to her good friend Oprah, did not endorse President Barack Obama during the presidential primaries. She instead chose to ride for now Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. She, like Bobby Brown 20 years prior said, "It's my prerogative." (I don't know if she really said that. lol)
So now Obama is the President and America, Africa and the world are in jubilation. What does Ms. Angelou have to say about it? Well she doesn't really discuss Pres. Obama in the January 18, Washington Post opinion piece. She discusses Michelle Obama.
I telephoned Oprah Winfrey, aware that she knew the Obamas, and asked, "What is your take on Michelle Obama?" Oprah answered promptly and with conviction, "She is the real deal."
I waited backstage in the Carolina Theatre wings. Mrs. Obama arrived, and we sat and talked for 45 minutes. We spoke about family, the economy, youth obesity, television, music, cooking and men. I was completely won over. She neither postured nor preened. I sensed no subterfuge in her conversation. She said what she thought and said it clearly, without bombast. When I was cued to go onto the stage, I shook hands with her warmly and went to the microphone. The theater was packed, and there was no standing room. I told the audience of some of Mrs. Obama's accomplishments, and then I told them of the conversation that I had had with Oprah. I ended my introduction by saying, "Now ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 'real deal.' "
Now any of my readers know, I STANS for Michelle Obama. I do, however find it curious Angelou's praise for her NOW. Is this her meager mea culpa? I am also curious about the absence of her praise for President Obama.
I am no feminist scholar, so much of what I say is based on my own perception. I perceive that many of these so-called feminist activists hate men. So much so, that the election of our first black president **see post below** gets bypassed for belated praise of his wife, however deserving.
I mean no disrespect to Maya Angelou. I know she knows why the caged bird sings, she is a phenomenal woman, and just like the moon still she rises.
When will it be time for her to rise and Hail to the Chief?
I think she should face the grim fact that she was a witness to history in the making and sat on the wrong side of it.
9 thoughts on “Maya Angelou Still Has Not Risen”
Some time ago, after the primaries and the conventions, I finally decided to vote for Obama. It took me a really LONG time to jump on the proverbial band wagon because I did not want to vote for him simply because he is a black man or because it seemed to be the thing to do if I am truly a member of the Afican-American community. I have to say that I actually wanted to see a woman on the throne of Capital Hill. And I do not really consider myself a feminist. I do not hate men; I love them deeply. I simply thought (and still think) it is the day of the woman. Men have sat on seats of authority in this country since its inception. But when the race came down to Obama and McCain, I could not vote for McCain simply because of the reality of what would happen if another good ol’ boy led the network.
But that’s not all. For me, Michelle Obama really did help sway me to look at her husband outside of the ideologies that I had a hard time swallowing. I saw a man that for all intents and purposes was someone that truly shared my beliefs in the salvation and rescue of our communities. But it took her words and her candidness and her reminders, however subtle, that it was okay to believe in the man she loves heart and soul.
So, in saying that, I really don’t know why Maya Angelou did not immediately state her belief in his leadership until after speaking to his wife. I do not if it is the feminist in her or her inability to see him as a true leader. But maybe, like me, she really needed to see his humanity; she really needed to see the man beyond the politician. I think the best way to do that is to ask those closest to a man if he does have integrity and if he does have the ability to lead. A wife would know if her husband would be a good leader of a country because she is the first recipient of his leadership at home. If a man is a good leader at home, maintaining his own country, then I have to believe he can maintain mine.
I hear you. You say that you did not want to vote for Barack just because he is black but then you say you believe that it is “the day of the woman.” So were you rooting for Hilary because of her sex?
If so, that’s your prerogative. What is/was it about Barack that made you distrust him so?
I am biased. I am originally from Chicago and have been exposed to Barack the politician before. I voted for him for Senate. I have heard him speak at churches and in person. I always found him to be a man of character.
I just find it interesting her (Maya’s) absent of thought on the President.
” A wife would know if her husband would be a good leader of a country because she is the first recipient of his leadership at home. If a man is a good leader at home, maintaining his own country, then I have to believe he can maintain mine.”
Well said, well said.
Talula, that’s a terrific question that you asked of Myowne. Substantively, there was little difference between Obama and Clinton, so what the decision came down to for many voters was identity politics. I think that’s okay and wish that more people would be honest about their motivations.
Maya Angelou needs to show some class and, to quote Obama himself, get over it. Clinton lost. And it bares mentioning that she resorted to dirty tricks in trying to defeat Obama. For her to talk about the First Lady whilst ignoring altogether her husband, the president of the United States, is completely ridiculous.
And yet she isn’t alone in doing so. But Barack Obama cannot be ignored. He is America’s commander in chief and, yes, he is a man. People had better get used to it. Or, there’s always Germany.
Do my eyes deceive me or do we actually agree, LH? He is THE MAN, literally..
We’re in league on this one.
You probably feel as if you need a shower now, huh?
Let’s cherish the moment.
I didn’t say I didn’t trust President Obama; I said that I truly wanted to see a woman on the throne of Capital Hill – a throne that has never had a woman sit as Commander in Chief. When he first came into view (my view), I didn’t have enough on him to decide if I trusted him or not. I was planning to vote for Clinton because she seemed to carry the mantle of a strong potential leader, with feminine swag.
But again, my mind was changed after really listening and watching and learning, after seeing what cannot be politically measured when I viewed President Obama’s position as a Husband at home and a leader in the state and community in which he planted himself. I saw how immature Hilary Clinton actually was and realized that we as women cannot rely on so unstable a foundation (in terms of feminine authority). Maybe next time.
You had a first hand opportunity to see President Obama in a place of authority in Chicago/Illinois so you knew that he could do the job but I did not have the pleasure of seeing and hearing him so up close and personal. So I had to use other measures to decide beyond sex, race, and even political viewpoints to make my final decision. There were some views highlighted (perhaps from conservative sources) that made me pause before deciding to vote for him later. I simply see those things as ideologies that we will probably differ on, but did not ultimately keep me from voting for him or deciding to support his over all leadership. It took me some time, some thought, some prayer, some belief, some change of perspective.
The truth is I would not vote for him simply because of race. I did not decide to vote or not vote for Hilary simply because of sex in the end. There were other issues that perhaps I should have made more clear in my last comment. I promise you that I am not really that shallow. I just think that deep down I simply lost hope and faith in men leading this country and needed to see a real one stand up and truly defend what I hold precious. President Obama, though previously just another politician to me, became flesh and bone and strength to a weakened resolve. And though it took me some time…I’m here…I’m a believer…I’m resolving to help him change this country in my little neck of the woods. Sorry for writing TWO long comments…
I love lengthy comments. No worries.
I understand your point. I guess I just want everyone to have that Obama love like me. It’s quite intoxicating.lol