Maya AngelouIn honor of Black History Month, Maya Angelou’s iTunes series, “Telling Our Stories”, is an attempt to help explain to the younger generation the efforts of those who’ve forged the path, for those who look-alike and those who look different. This is the third year Angelou has done the series and features stories from Kofi Annan, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys.

One subject Angelou touches upon is the use of the “b” and “n” words.

In an interview with Politics Nation, Angelou expressed her views on the state of young people and the use of the two words:

”Too many young black men and women don’t know that they’ve already been paid for, don’t know some of the great men and women who have lived in this world and paid for them already,” she explained. “It’s important for young black men and women. I think it’s imperative for young white men and women. You see, only equals make friends. Any other relationship is out-of-order.”

“I continue to say to young people, You are cared for,” she said. “They are worth everything. Women are better than being called the “b” word, and blacks are better than being called the ‘n’ word.”

“No matter what your race group, no matter what your age group, you are better than being called the word that would deny your humanity.”

Angelou also expressed her opinion on the recent debate over gun violence. “We have the right to respect and protect our children and we ought to do so and we ought to look at the guns that allow the mad man or the mad woman to kill off 200 of our children or fifty of our children, or twenty or one,” she said. “We have to look at that and say, Do we really have enough nerve to say stop it, stop it. This won’t do.”

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You can download Maya Angelou’s Black History Month Special 2013 “Telling Our Stories” on iTunes.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    voice crying out in the wilderness…..***sigh***

  • Kam

    So much truth, I hope they fall on willing ears.

  • WhatIThink

    A perfect example of how the civil rights movement has failed us.

    Throughout that whole segment she said not one thing of any significance.

    Blacks and whites are not Equals in any sense of the word.
    To say otherwise is dishonest and tells black folks that there is nothing they need to do and accomplish FOR black people. Just go out and do whatever.
    You don’t have to build anything. Just go out and integrate.
    That message has gotten us nowhere over the last 50 years.

    At the end of the day being free means being able to build something not just being happy to be around other people without being called the n-word.

    I mean you ride through all these bombed out black communities and all these folk talk about is how we are “paid for” and “equal”.

    Last I checked, most white folks don’t live in bombed out neighborhoods.
    Last I checked, most white kids weren’t dying from an epidemic of gun violence.
    Last I checked, most Asians in America weren’t in poverty.
    Last I checked none of these folks were begging blacks to come save them and be nice to them.
    Last I checked all of these groups have an identity and don’t need one month of the year to remind them of something they acknowledge 247/365.
    Last I checked all of these groups don’t depend on blacks or anyone else to do or build for them.
    Not black folks. But hey all we have to do is just smile and we are equal without actually DOING anything.

    So while the black community continues to go down the drain, all we need to do is remember that “we are equal”.

    But I guess all our issues are supposedly “paid for” by a previous generation.
    And what did we get from them? NOTHING. So I guess they “paid for” blacks living in communities that are broke down and worse off now than 50 years ago?

  • isa

    I love her

  • Rue

    COMPLETELY missed the point…

  • Niesha Gourdine

    I’m pretty sure you are missing the WHOLE point.

  • KayKay

    I didnt mean to give you a thumbs down I completely agree with you.

  • Niesha Gourdine

    I wish we had more people like her to look up to:)

  • Rue

    Hear, hear. We are better than that, but we just don’t know it.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    “blacks living in communities that are broke down and worse off now than 50 years ago”

    were you around fifty years ago? i was, and we are better off in every way now then we were then.

    the things that hold us back today are all mental. self hate, lack of unity, ignorance, brainwashing. if we can break the brainwashing and pull together we can regain what was taken from us.

    self knowledge and self love are not abstract concepts.

    we got a war to fight and we will get free.

  • Tonton Michel

    Wisdom from an elder, but will anyone listen.

  • Guest1234

    Preach, Maya! She’s so peaceful. Just reading her words is a soothing reminder of what is true and what matters. I’m steppin’ a whole lot lighter after reading her words. Just so ya’ll know, they don’t always fall on deaf ears. Today, her words struck me in a meaningful way. So, later for all the idiots. I’m movin’ on with peace and love on my side. Thanks Maya Angelou for the gift of your wisdom.

  • LadyP

    I love Dr. Maya Angelou and always have. Listening to her and being in her present is so inspirational! All of her words in which she speaks are so powerful.

  • D.T.

    You’re right and very few people want to talk about the failures of older generations because it’s a politically incorrect thing to say.

  • Treece

    I love love love Ms Angelou! when she speaks she often brings tears to my eyes with how insightful and wise she is. When I saw her Master Class show on OWN I cried half the time it was on. Wisdom beyond measure. If only her intended audience would stop and listen.

  • Dalili

    I love Dr. Angelou! I’ve always deferred to her writing when I need inspiration, encouragement and sometimes a chuckle. Even The Stars Look Lonesome audio is my constant companion. Love her!

  • Fantastico

    Perfectly stated!

  • Coconut + Cream

    YES! If only more people would realise and embrace this. I love Maya Angelou


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