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Maya Angelou: The Decision That Changed My Life: Keeping My Baby
Life News ^ | May 28, 2014 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 05/28/2014 1:20:46 PM PDT by NYer

Writer and poet Maya Angelou died this morning, according to a family statement. She was found by her caregiver and was reportedly been in poor health and had canceled recent scheduled appearances.

Harold Augenbraum, from the National Book Foundation, said that Angelou’s “legacy is one that all writers and readers across the world can admire and aspire to.”

Poetic Justice

But while most people are aware of her professional work, they don’t know Angelou’s personal background as well.

Angelou had one son Guy, whose birth was described in her first autobiography, one grandson, and two great-grandchildren. She became pregnant as a teenager and could have sought an illegal abortion but, instead, decided to keep her baby. In an essay that originally appeared in Family Circle magazine, Angelou called that the best decision of her life.

That essay appears below:

“When I was 16, a boy in high school evinced interest in me, so I had sex with him — just once. And after I came out of that room, I thought, Is that all there is to it? My goodness, I’ll never do that again! Then, when I found out I was pregnant, I went to the boy and asked him for help, but he said it wasn’t his baby and he didn’t want any part of it.

I was scared to pieces. Back then, if you had money, there were some girls who got abortions, but I couldn’t deal with that idea. Oh, no. No. I knew there was somebody inside me. So I decided to keep the baby.

My older brother, Bailey, my confidant, told me not to tell my mother or she’d take me out of school. So I hid it the whole time with big blouses! Finally, three weeks before I was due, I left a note on my stepfather’s pillow telling him I was pregnant. He told my mother, and when she came home, she calmly asked me to run her bath.

I’ll never forget what she said: “Now tell me this — do you love the boy?” I said no. “Does he love you?” I said no. “Then there’s no point in ruining three lives. We are going to have our baby!”

What a knockout she was as a mother of teens. Very loving. Very accepting. Not one minute of recrimination. And I never felt any shame.

I’m telling you that the best decision I ever made was keeping that baby! Yes, absolutely. Guy was a delight from the start — so good, so bright, and I can’t imagine my life without him.

At 17 I got a job as a cook and later as a nightclub waitress. I found a room with cooking privileges, because I was a woman with a baby and needed my own place. My mother, who had a 14-room house, looked at me as if I was crazy! She said, “Remember this: You can always come home.” She kept that door open. And every time life kicked me in the belly, I would go home for a few weeks.

I struggled, sure. We lived hand-to-mouth, but it was really heart-to-hand. Guy had love and laughter and a lot of good reading and poetry as a child. Having my son brought out the best in me and enlarged my life. Whatever he missed, he himself is a great father today. He was once asked what it was like growing up in Maya Angelou’s shadow, and he said, “I always thought I was in her light.”

Years later, when I was married, I wanted to have more children, but I couldn’t conceive. Isn’t it wonderful that I had a child at 16? Praise God!”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: adoption; mayaangelou; prolife
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1 posted on 05/28/2014 1:20:46 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...
Years later, when I was married, I wanted to have more children, but I couldn’t conceive. Isn’t it wonderful that I had a child at 16? Praise God!”

Amazing. My mother had the same experience.

Ping!

2 posted on 05/28/2014 1:21:51 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

This story is a bit misleading, imho.


3 posted on 05/28/2014 1:25:21 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer

Thanks for posting this.


4 posted on 05/28/2014 1:25:30 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: NYer

Wow. I like her now. I hope this is a big part of the inevitable parade of people celebrating her life. I’m pretty sure it won’t be but I can hope.


5 posted on 05/28/2014 1:26:24 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: trisham

How so?


6 posted on 05/28/2014 1:26:26 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: NYer

This is very sweet. I had no idea, thanks for posting.


7 posted on 05/28/2014 1:26:45 PM PDT by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: NYer

Me, blah, blah, me, blah blah blah, and then again, me. She was on par with the known domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Google him and have a barf bag handy. Google her and be prepared to pass out.


8 posted on 05/28/2014 1:27:40 PM PDT by A Navy Vet (An Oath is Forever)
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To: NYer
A nice story... ...and yet...
...Maya Angelou was completely / effectively silent about the butchery of abortion all throughout the Clinton years, those year she was on the Clinton payroll.

That's when these words would have counted the most.

9 posted on 05/28/2014 1:27:49 PM PDT by Yossarian
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To: Mercat

Yeah. It won’t be.


10 posted on 05/28/2014 1:27:57 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan

I read a bio of her.


11 posted on 05/28/2014 1:31:37 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer

Same here.


12 posted on 05/28/2014 1:31:41 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: NYer

Bump


13 posted on 05/28/2014 1:36:48 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: NYer; cripplecreek; trisham; ifinnegan; Yossarian
This is great.

I'm going to run this in our parish newsletter.


14 posted on 05/28/2014 1:40:24 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Stone cold sober, as a matter of fact.")
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To: NYer

What a beautiful testimony. It has changed my opinion of her. Thanks for posting.


15 posted on 05/28/2014 1:40:46 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: A Navy Vet

I do believe she was the madam of a whore house in her long ago days.


16 posted on 05/28/2014 1:41:36 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

She was also a prostitute


17 posted on 05/28/2014 1:42:56 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

I feel sorry for prostitutes. I have no respect for madams. Maybe she repented this, I don’t know.


18 posted on 05/28/2014 1:44:42 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: NYer

met her in Winston at my old job. She needed a video made and my employer did the filming, editing, etc. I was the lowly secretary that delivered her lunch, messages, etc.

She spent several days at our studio with Oprah’s boyfriend, Stedman. She was famous for a quote that went something like “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She learned that from practice.

Other than that experience, I had never met anyone so uppity and entitled. And I am 54 years old. Not a humble bone in her body. Maybe she hated me because I was WHITE...not rich...whatever. She was a hateful woman to those she considered beneath her...or those she imagined as the spawn of her oppressors.

Regardless, condolences to her family.


19 posted on 05/28/2014 1:47:21 PM PDT by johnsmom (I must be dreaming 'cause this can't be real)
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To: NYer

The femiNazis are going to go apple-shiite over this story.


20 posted on 05/28/2014 1:49:34 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: johnsmom

She believed her own hype which is the death knell of every poet. Most the great poets were troubled people.


21 posted on 05/28/2014 1:57:37 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: NYer


A certifiable leftist and Barakko-wacko with at least 6, count 'em, 6 autobiographies. A narcissist in the image of der leader.

Do we really celebrate someone who keeps her fetus? Crazy.


22 posted on 05/28/2014 2:00:58 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: NYer

Sorry. Don’t like the woman - at all.


23 posted on 05/28/2014 2:02:23 PM PDT by ZULU (https://www.facebook.com/freejustina)
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To: ZULU

bump


24 posted on 05/28/2014 2:02:40 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: 867V309

bump


25 posted on 05/28/2014 2:04:58 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

Well at least, unlike politicians, prostitutes do actually offer value for what you pay them.


26 posted on 05/28/2014 2:07:13 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Well at least, unlike politicians, prostitutes do actually offer value for what you pay them.

I've heard that sometimes they even give you something extra. :)


27 posted on 05/28/2014 2:10:22 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: 867V309
Even a very flawed person can be admired for giving birth to a baby when there were strong pressures to quietly destroy the child and get on with your life. She evidently didn't go on welfare or let her mother raise him, but raised him herself, and apparently very successfully, while working hard at many jobs for their livelihood.

And the fact that she would talk about it afterward --- well, that gives her a big

+1

in my eyes.

And as it has often been remarked, some esteemed writers were really practically insufferable in their private lives. People are complex. They change. They are contradictory. They are downright aggravating. But when they do right, we ought to give due credit.

28 posted on 05/28/2014 2:15:47 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Stone cold sober, as a matter of fact.")
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To: 867V309

At least they go away.


29 posted on 05/28/2014 2:15:48 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
At least they go away.

That's why you pay them.


30 posted on 05/28/2014 2:21:58 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: NYer

Big time Leftie who wrote 2nd-rate verse.


31 posted on 05/28/2014 2:24:55 PM PDT by attiladhun2 (The Free World has a new leader--his name is Benjamin Netanyahu)
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To: trisham

Yes. Me too.

In 10th grade we had to read “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

It had the story of her pregnancy at 16.

I must say, that was in the 70’s and I had forgotten the part about deciding not to abort.


32 posted on 05/28/2014 2:25:20 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: 867V309

“Do we really celebrate someone who keeps her fetus? Crazy”

How do you differ from the psycho leftists when you say things like this?


33 posted on 05/28/2014 2:27:32 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: Mrs. Don-o
But when they do right, we ought to give due credit.

There is a little sanity and compassion left around here...not much but a seed nontheless......

Amen

34 posted on 05/28/2014 2:31:44 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Under Reagan spring always arrived on time.....)
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To: ifinnegan
"Do we really celebrate someone who keeps her fetus? Crazy"

How do you differ from the psycho leftists when you say things like this?


What I meant was that the old "normal" was to keep your child rather than abort: no cause for celebration. So now we're supposed to celebrate everyone who doesnt kill their child? As I said, crazy.


35 posted on 05/28/2014 2:36:31 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: fwdude
"The femiNazis are going to go apple-shiite over this story."

That reminds me...where have the feminists been regarding the abduction of some 300 young girls in Nigeria? The NOW is now a useless shadow of themselves. They have no standing since the Clinton days when they supported him against Lewinsky and others billy-boy used and abused. I'm glad.

36 posted on 05/28/2014 2:36:50 PM PDT by A Navy Vet (An Oath is Forever)
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To: 867V309

I see your point.

I’m not sure why you used the term fetus.


37 posted on 05/28/2014 3:21:24 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: 867V309

There has been a constant news feed on her passing all day, national and local.
I think it’s reverse racism.
If some white author/poet croaks, it’s no big deal.


38 posted on 05/28/2014 3:23:54 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: NYer

I’m really gonna miss that pretentious 3rd-rate poetry./s


39 posted on 05/28/2014 3:28:30 PM PDT by Zman516 (Thought-Criminal #1)
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To: 867V309

“What I meant was that the old “normal” was to keep your child rather than abort: no cause for celebration. So now we’re supposed to celebrate everyone who doesnt kill their child? As I said, crazy.”

A black comedian did a skit about that where a woman was bragging that her boyfriend had never been to prison (as though that was the greatest thing in the world); the comedian mocked that as the absolute least a woman should expect, not something praiseworthy in and of itself...


40 posted on 05/28/2014 3:42:22 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: 867V309
Do we really celebrate someone who keeps her fetus? Crazy.

Well, newb, 'round these parts, we properly call "keeps her fetus"...
GIVING BIRTH TO HER BABY.

And the opposite case would be killing her baby.

In this context, referring to the human being inside the womb as "her fetus" is very dehumanizing. That human has the right not to get sliced up into ribbons.

42 posted on 05/28/2014 3:57:20 PM PDT by Yossarian
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To: ifinnegan
I see your point.

I’m not sure why you used the term fetus.


Thank you for reading and understanding.

I used the word fetus properly.


43 posted on 05/28/2014 4:03:45 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: Yossarian
And the opposite case would be killing her baby.

Well, Alzheimers, did you read my post #35?


44 posted on 05/28/2014 4:07:33 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: 867V309

Of course, properly enough.

Yet it is used usually by those who support abortion.

It means goo.


45 posted on 05/28/2014 4:09:43 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan
Yet it is used usually by those who support abortion.

It means goo.


Sorry, I got caught up in the moment of removing the mantle of sainthood from an icky old leftist.


46 posted on 05/28/2014 4:14:00 PM PDT by 867V309 (GOPe? NOPe!)
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To: NYer

OK but....I just read that she was thrilled with Obama and desperately wanted him to have a 2nd term.

She wanted a liberal Supreme Court, my definition of pro life she does not fit

Did she ever weep for the unborn to the point of pleading with people to vote for pro life candidates? I see no evidence of this

Glad she did not kill her own child

God Bless her

And she thinks Mrs Obama is great??? I have no respect for folks that are not pro life period

I would not attend a Church that did not feel the same as myself on this

Yes I hope she was saved


47 posted on 05/28/2014 4:47:28 PM PDT by Friendofgeorge (Sarah Palin 2016 OR BUST)
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To: Yossarian

Thank You, I love how you said that. A red flag goes up when I hear people referring to a fetus


48 posted on 05/28/2014 4:52:04 PM PDT by Friendofgeorge (Sarah Palin 2016 OR BUST)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Very few Catholic Priests tell people to vote only for pro life Candidates.

Do not recall any Pope`s being strong enough on pro life values either, so I guess in that respect she is no worse than them?

but still this was a lady that not only remained silent on abortion imo,went out of her way to celebrate her Democrat Party pro abortion platform

If she was truly a Christian, she should have supported Sarah Palin and God`s unborn Children at the same time. If she was a Christian why didn`t she support Christ by standing up for Christian values?

If she was truly pro life, why didn`t she at the very least rally so called Christian Democrats (a oxymoron imo) to demand the party be pro life??

I think the answer is simple, they are not pro life.

Do we get awards for not killing our children?


49 posted on 05/28/2014 5:05:30 PM PDT by Friendofgeorge (Sarah Palin 2016 OR BUST)
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To: Friendofgeorge
Thank You, I love how you said that. A red flag goes up when I hear people referring to a fetus

You're welcome, and I note that he/she changed their language later.

However, to be honest, I think it is all in the context of how you use the term. For example, I'm working on a project that "documents fetal development". When I say this, I think - ? hope ? - that it is clear that I'm referring to a specific phase in human development, before the human becomes a post-birth "infant".

I kind of think of the term "baby" as encompassing the "zygote/embryo, fetus, infant" phases of human development.

But, I could be wrong. Should I be referring to my project differently?

50 posted on 05/28/2014 5:13:26 PM PDT by Yossarian
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