Maya Angelou was a phenomenal woman, but she wasn’t alone.
I learned about Maya at a young age. First, when in 4th grade, my teacher Mr. Graves made us recite, learn and memorize her poem. I remember all the boys in our gifted and talented class sulked and complained. We didn’t want to say the words of Phenomenal Woman out loud.
Getting 4th grade boys to say, “I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That’s me,” is tough. But we did it; fear of failing was worse than a few jokes.
We got some culture, as Mr. Graves put it. Fast forward to me being a little older, that knowledge of Maya’s poem came in handy when I started to fall in love with my phenomenal high school girlfriend.
I share that story to say that Maya’s words had an effect on all of us, male and female.
It’s a good thing to remember, because if you turn on the radio today you would think phenomenal women no longer exist. In 2014, all we seem to hear is that “these hoes ain’t loyal,” and it’s nothing to “cut a bitch off.”
Maya’s death is sad, but thankfully it’s forcing people to put the ratchet on pause for a little so we can reiterate that women are phenomenal.
However, it’s not her most famous poem that gives me hope on this day, but rather a poem of hers called The Pulse Of The Morning, in which she recites:
“Here on the pulse of this new day you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister’s eye and into your brother’s face. Your country and say simply very simply with hope. Good Morning.” — Maya Angelou
I hope Maya’s passing reminds us that there are a bunch of phenomenal women out there and maybe just maybe, some of our singers, movie makers and creatives will decide that hey, it’s time to make something to highlight just how amazing females truly are in the world.
Check out ten phenomenal women in the gallery below.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty