“Letter To My Daughter” -Book Review

The late Dr. Maya Angelou is well-known for her writing, speeches and wisdom. In The New York Times Bestseller ” Letter to My Daughter”, she serves vivid memory and strong opinion. Written in her beautiful, poetic style, these essays feel like warm advice from a beloved aunt or grandmother. maya She writes from the heart to all women she views as her “extended” family. In one excerpt, she speaks about an offer from a set of television producers that wanted to make a film from a short story she had written. Once she arrived for a meeting with the boss, instantly she recognized that this may not be a suitable endeavor. “The woman was small, with a quick smile and a high-pitched voice. She met each statement I made with a sarcastic rejoinder. Not caustic enough for me to call her down but pointed enough for me to realize that she meant to put me in  my place, which was obviously somewhere beneath her.” In another, Angelou speaks of visiting a close friend in her homeland. As the guests gathered together in a room, she noticed that there was a beautiful Oriental rug on the floor. It brought memories of another friend, in Egypt, whom had declared that only she and family were allowed to walk on the rugs, not servants. In her estimation, Angelou felt that she would teach her friend a lesson and proceeded to walk back and forth across the rug several times. Guests watched and one engaged her in conversation. Angelou saw that two maids had removed the rug and placed a brand new one, equally as beautiful, in it’s place. Next, glasses and spoons, napkins were set out and everyone was called to the rug. “For Maya Angelou” adding,” Shall we sit?” All the guests sank to the floor. My face and neck burned. Fortunately, because of my chocolate brown complexion, people could not know I was on fire with shame. Clever and so proper Maya Angelou, I had walked up and down over the tablecloth. In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons. The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity.” Dr. Angelou gives glimpses of lessons in compassion and fortitude. From recalling dear friends like Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis to speaking on the importance of honesty and the need to eliminate vulgarity and on down to something so precious as loving her mom’s homemade red rice, Dr. Angelou  chronicles life’s measures with every step. It is a powerful read. I have included an excerpt from an interview on Oprah presents Master Class, which is titled’ Just Do Right’     Dr. Maya Angelou is my personal hero.