Google+

American Masters — Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

 

Maya Angelou,  PBS-TV Review, by Kam Williams, African-American icon, poet,author,actress,director,civil rights activistAmerican Masters — Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Premieres nationwide Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

PBS-TV Review by Kam Williams

PBS’ American Masters Broadcasts Revealing Retrospective about the Late Icon

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was born Marguerite Annie Johnson,in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928 to parents for whom she and her big brother Bailey soon became a burden. When Maya was just 3, the siblings were sent alone by train to live with their paternal grandmother in Arkansas where they would be terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan.

At 7, Maya moved back to St. Louis, only to be molested by her now single mother’s boyfriend. When she  reported the rape, the perpetrator was soon murdered under mysterious circumstances.

Maya subsequently fell mute and was shipped back to her grandma’s house. Although she couldn’t talk, she did take to reading like a fish to water. And by the time she spoke again at the age of 12, she’d become very acquainted with the classics ranging from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes to Edgar Allan Poe. 

Unfortunately, exposure to great literature didn’t save Maya from further trauma, as she would become a single-mom at 17 after being pressured into a sexual encounter with a boy who wanted nothing more to do with her. She subsequently supported herself and her son, Guy, by holding an array of odd jobs, including work in the sex trade industry as a stripper, prostitute and even a madam.

Yet somehow, Maya would overcome her humble roots and checkered early career to become an African-American icon and a very respected writer in her own right. That miraculous recovery is the subject of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a reverential retrospective offering an intimate look at the life of the late poet/author/actress/director/civil rights activist.

Maya Angelou,  PBS-TV Review, by Kam Williams, African-American icon, poet,author,actress,director,civil rights activist

Co-directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the film features heartfelt reflections by an array of luminaries, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, John Singleton, Cicely Tyson, Dave Chappelle and Valerie Simpson, to name a few.  For example, we hear Secretary Clinton refer to her as “a phenomenal woman” while Lou Gossett, Jr. credits her with raising his political consciousness.

A poignant portrait of a sex abuse survivor’s unlikely path from abandoned street urchin to consummate poet laureate!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 114 minutes

Distributor: PBS

For a behind-the-scenes peek at Common on the set with Maya Angelou, visit: https://youtu.be/O8pLATICKq8

For an excerpt featuring Maya Angelou speaking about her role in a production of Porgy and Bess, visit: https://youtu.be/TYIzoL5bJmI

To order a copy of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise on DVD, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N3UHKU7/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News

Entertainment

God Bless Sweet Erica!

  Erica Ash The “Survivor's Remorse" and "Real Husbands of Hollywood” Interview with Kam Williams God Bless Sweet Erica! NAACP Image Award-nominee Erica Ash is currently starring as Brigette Hart, ex-wife of Kevin Hart, on the faux reality show “The Real Husbands of Hollywood,” as well as M-Chuck Calloway on the hit sitcom “Survivor’s … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Mollie Brings 2017 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship to Florida

  Mollie Brings 2017 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship to Florida   The Wharf, Orange Beach, Alabama: For the first time in its seven-year history, a charter boat has won the prestigious Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship. Mollie, a 66 G&S operated by Capt. Jeff Shoults of Destin, Florida, captured the title after competing in the Blue … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a Yankee hit a homerun. There are those who love to practically melt in the summer watching the Williams’ … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it is a fact that school trips take all of us during our younger years to everything from museums to … [Read More its Good for You...]