The A. Philip Randolph Institute Salutes Dr.Maya Angelou

The A. Philip Randolph Institute Salutes Dr.Maya Angelou

Friday, June 6, 2014

The A. Philip Randolph Institute Salutes Dr.Maya Angelou

(A. Philip Randolph Institute)

“The
ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.
And still we rise.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

As she is
memorialized on
Saturday, June 7, 2014, and in the days to come, the A. Philip Randolph
Institute joins the world in paying its tribute to the international Phenomenal
Woman—Dr. Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou
brought to
Life the inward thinking and outward actions of the common man and woman.  She was able to infuse tears and laughter
in
the same sentence, in one line, in one story. 
And, yet, she herself lived many stories, in one remarkable
Life.

In addition to
her acclaim
as a world renowned author, she was a singer, a dancer, a director, a producer,
an actress, a teacher--and, in the early days, the master of various
occupations,
including “fry cook”.  In all of the
ways
she worked, Maya Angelou was true to her many selves, and she honored the true
core of her Being.  An inspiration
to
those who shared her passion for the literary world, she also shared her
insight and wisdom to the causes she championed for: “social justice and
freedom”.

 Maya Angelou was not only an engaged
participant
in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, she was on staff. APRI
co-founder Bayard Rustin worked with her during those times—eventually asking
her to replace him as the director of the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference.  She accepted the job,
working alongside other organizers and activists including Dr. Martin Luther
King and A. Philip Randolph.

At a time when
the profile
of the movement was rising, Angelou helped to raise the resources that allowed
civil
rights leaders to organize historic challenges to the
Jim Crow brutality
that she would later scrutinize so intensely in
her
writings. Even after leaving the United States, she continued her civil rights
activism —she was, in fact, in Ghana when the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs
and Freedom took place.

But Maya Angelou
still
marched.  Outside the American
Embassy in
Accra, she and others rallied with signs
calling for an
end to segregation and apartheid.

When one has
lived her life
as full as Dr. Maya Angelou, it is hard to imagine having to ever say the word,
“Goodbye.” But… we do so today. And we will remember her in all of the
tomorrows to come; and we thank her for having the courage to help a “going-on
people” to rise again.

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