Maya Angelou at Evergreen

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I went to see Maya Angelou speak at Evergreen the other night. For a 78 year old with bad knees, that lady still has a lot of kick in her. I've heard several civil rights activists speak over the years, and I have to say that there is no comparison. There is a reason that this woman is so loved.

What I really appreciate is how she concentrates on being human first, and being black second. When she would talk about ethnic groups, she would go out of her way to mention many different ethnic groups, including white ethic groups. What really sums it up is when she quoted from the freed Roman slave Terence who became a playwright, "I am a human being, Nothing human can be alien to me.”

She spoke of her crippled uncle Willie and how he helped raise her. He was ashamed of being a cripple, and wouldn't even travel to the nearest large town because he was so embarrassed. But he would go to great lengths to make sure that the children in his care understood the value of an education. She later ran into several prominent people that knew her uncle and credited him with making them the success that they were.

While Maya was wonderful, Evergreen should have had someone from the math and science side of the school involved in the planning. They set up the performance in the first 2 bays of the gym and ended up with several hundred people standing. Nowhere did they advertise that they were going to sell it to the point of standing room only. Not only that, they eventually had to tape the doors open so people could stand out in the hall to hear, because they over-sold it that much. But what was really annoying about the situation, was that there are THREE bays to the gym, and the stage was positioned in front of a fold away wall. They could have set it up with plenty of room for everyone to have had a seat!