The extent of Angelou’s talent and accomplishments amazed Fremont AAUW members. Next program will be on December 2nd.
by Kathy Garfinkle
AAUW Fremont Branch members learned she was so much more than a poet and writer when they gathered on Monday, October 27 at the Fremont Main Library, Fukaya Room, for an inspiring presentation on the life and times of the late Maya Angelou.
Committee members Margery Leonard, Kris Sandoe, Kathy Garfinkle, Florence Silver and Martha Crowe read from her autobiography, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, accompanied by images of Maya in her early years projected on a large screen. Thanks go to Kris Sandoe who put in many hours creating the sound and visual effects to make the program so very powerful.
Stimulating discussion questions further enhanced the program.
- Why does Angelou call giving and receiving in the Black community a “rich exchange”? Randy Fewel remarked that people in the Black community give “from the heart”. They share what they truly need and want.
- Why does Maya stop talking? Florence Silver volunteered that Maya felt that she would disgrace her family if she talked. Maya was also terrified that her beloved brother, Willie, would be killed if she revealed that Mr. Freeman had raped her.
- Why was it a “a bad time for a Black man and his family to be caught on a lonely country road”? The consensus was that when Maya was growing up it was indeed a dangerous time for Black men because the Klu Klux Clan was very strong and lynching was commonplace. Also, African Americans were afraid of retaliation since Joe Louis had proved that Black men were the “strongest people in the world”.
- Think about your favorite teacher. What are the qualities that made him or her special? Passion for learning and respect for his or her students were mentioned as qualities that we remember in our favorite teachers. Kris Sandoe shared that she remembered her favorite teacher because that teacher noticed and pointed out that she was good at art.
Those attending the first in our series “A Tribute to Maya Angelou” were awed by the strength, wisdom, courage and dignity of this remarkable woman. Many were intrigued and wanted to learn more about her. Who would have thought that she was a cable car conductor as a young woman! Or that she established a career as a dancer, singer and actress performing in iconic shows such as Porgy and Bess!
Join us for our next program on December 2nd featuring students from Irvington High School’s Center for the Creative Arts.