May 30, 2014
Is it time yet to talk honestly about Maya Angelou?
When excited bulletins on cable news let the public know that Maya Angelou had passed away, I bit my tongue and stayed my keyboard. I generally follow the rule of letting the dead rest in peace for a day or two before writing critically of them. But this fine piece by Daniel J. Flynn in the American Spectator covers many of the points I would have brought up about the late poet/madam/actress/communist/all around phony. Flynn calls her “an author more revered than read,” and that gets to the heart of the Angelou phenomenon. I will give her credit, as Flynn does, for playing a role very well. That role was as a victim who rose beyond her victimhood to become an icon. But an icon of victimhood as badge of honor, cultivating a voice, a manner, a persona that embodied dignity, thereby triggering waves of adulation from those who, out of guilt or hope, devoutly wished her to be a giant, so that all who have been a dealt a bad hand at birth could similarly rise and find...(Read Full Post)