Yesterday, Maya Angelou died at the age of 86.
She was truly an inspirational woman, and she lived the life. Maya Angelou worked as a fry cook, night-club dancer and performer, a journalist in Egypt and Ghana. She was a teacher, an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and television shows.
Angelou was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
What Maya Angelou is probably best known for is a series of autobiographies, the first being I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which came out in 1969.
We also have the same birthday — April 4th!
Now, a couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to see a taping of Saturday Night Live, and Maya Rudolph was hosting. She did a sketch called, I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs — a prank show with Rudolph playing Angelou.
I love it. You can watch it HERE.
I didn’t post it yesterday because I thought it might be in bad taste, but I know that despite the hardships that Maya Angelou has experienced, and wrote about in her lifetime, she always maintained that it was important to be able to laugh, and not take things too seriously.
Just last year Angelou spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper where she said:
“Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were brothers. They had incredible senses of humor. They could make you laugh in the worst of times, and they did so. And you know, I never trust people who don’t laugh, who said, “I am serious” and act as if they put airplane glue on the back of their hands and stuck the glue to their foreheads. I think, “You’re not serious; you’re boring as hell.”
If you’re serious, you really understand that it’s important that you laugh as much as possible and admit that you’re the funniest person you ever met. You have to laugh. Admit that you’re funny. Otherwise, you die in solemnity.”
Rest in peace Maya Angelou.