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    Posted May 28, 2014 by
    Washington, District of Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

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    Maya Angelou saved my life


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     omekongo told me, 'Out of all the people I ever wanted to meet who were or are alive during my lifetime (Oprah, Mandela, Michael Jackson, etc.) Maya Angelou was number one hands down and I am thankful for that opportunity every day. It is rare that I express genuine love for someone I haven’t known all of my life but for her, she saved my life and so I owe part of my life to her. I loved her. She was and is my poetic mother.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Dr. Maya Angelou was greatness personified. I hope the words I speak in this video and the poem I share below help to convey what this woman meant for me and so many others.

    This is a love letter
    From a poetic son,
    To mother of poetry for the human spirit
    From South Africa,
    To far away places like Southeast Arkanasia
    Your words of wisdom touch all humanity,
    From a lover of literacy like Oprah,
    To a freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela
    In a time where fightin’ was natural,
    You reminded us to never forget
    That we are a human family
    From the prisoner to the pusher to the poor girl,
    Your prose and poetry puts all people on a parallel podium
    From the aspiring junkie and the melancholy men,
    To a man bigot and the phenomenal woman
    You make us run the gamut
    From tears of personal pleasure and pain,
    To a manageable mourning grace
    It’s no accident that you have become our mothering blackness,
    Nurturing a society suffering from the sickness of senses of insecurity
    You write for us,
    Who dare not dare to challenge the status quo
    And you champion the cause of equality,
    Only making ignorance feel insignificant
    With you Maya, we saw beyond our seeming
    And dreamed beyond our dreaming,
    And, in retrospect,
    You helped me have the prescience to also promote healing
    Oh, Maya Angelou,
    Maya Angelou,
    May-a-angel-o-u all the blessings in heaven
    That you bestow on the often heavy heart of humanity
    Avec merci, Mother Maya for your vision,
    And being willing to take time out to help us all be free,
    And for helping me realize that when I think about myself,
    It ain’t that bad to me.
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