Simple statements. Great explanations. Maya Angelou’s collection of personal essays, “Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now” is a little book encompassing big life issues. Taking the title of a 19th century African-American gospel song, Maya continues infusing a sense of spirituality into each essay without preaching.
Angelou’s clear, practical, insightful “segments” peek into life and offer an alternative way of thinking. Poet, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil rights activist, and historian, Maya Angelou’s writing invites the reader to strive for tolerance and become, in general, a better human being.
Not a small amount of Ms. Angelou’s wisdom comes from others who have touched her life. Her upbringing is often portrayed in these poignant and sometimes autobiographical essays—such as when her grandmother deals with complaining customers and brings this to the attention of Maya, offering her a lesson in life. Myself, I do not remember many adults in my life offering me wisdom in this way.
Maya Angelou is very passionate about life and how human beings treat each other. With simple titles, (Being a Woman, Power of the Word, New Directions, etc.) the short essays touch upon important life topics such as the art of giving, pregnancy, death, style (one of my favorites), and racism. With heartfelt passion, Angelou is very down-to-earth. She calmly takes a human flaw and just talks sense about it.
The listener (this listener, anyway) is hard-put to disagree with her philosophy; such is Angelou’s command of the English language, inspirational talent, wisdom, and conclusions of her own very remarkable life.
Maya Angelou reads beautifully, calmly, and with feeling. Her voice, alone, is persuasive