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Maya Angelou is a great personality who has inspired people for more than four decades through her literary works and her life style. All I knew about her was that she was born during the period when racial discrimination was at its peak and she was a woman who believed in change and equality. She turned her belief into a theory and inspired millions of people around the world. Then I happened to read her poem Phenomenal Woman.
I wanted to write about this one because I personally feel that the responsibilities of womanhood is the most underrated in this world. Let us not forget that Maya herself has undergone a lot of struggle in life before she could make her voice heard among the chaos of the then era. Her poem is one of inner strength and pride at being and loving herself as not just a woman but a great woman. The lines are suitable for any generation. As a woman of a very conservative culture, I was taught to listen and acknowledge men no matter how trivial their ideas were. Women were not expected to think rationally. Most of the societies still exist in the same manner whether we accept it or not. When I read Maya's poem, I started wondering how a woman with no background could change and touch the lives of others. She was much oppressed and was in an era which held no proper acknowledgement for women. Yet she managed to break her boundaries. She was fearless and was focused on a mission. The immediate thought that hit me that day was women are not taught to take pride in their own self and inner beauty. They are rarely appreciated and accepted for who they are. This was the main concept that Maya addressed with this beautiful poem.
This poem gives me such a huge strength as I realize that I have nothing to prove to anyone. Those who care will love me anyways and those who don't will never do. When I read about the death of Maya yesterday, I thought to myself, Maya accomplished what she was sent for. She will continue to live through the lives of millions of people who love her and live her ideals.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.