black women

Maya Angelou’s Amazing Poetic Tribute to Nelson Mandela: “His Day is Done”

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Everyone has to love Maya Angelou.  She is one of the most respected poetic voices in American history and is cherished around the world for the sweet imagery presented in her work both present and past.

Angelou, like many of us, was saddened to see the end of the life of Nelson Mandela.  Mandela was a freedom fighter like no other, once banished to prison for 27 years for standing up against a system that no one thought would ever fall. But despite all of these challenges, he stood strong in the face of this oppression, emerged from prison and became the president of the country he loved.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Nelson for teaching us what it means to be powerfully black, focused and forever inspired by a constant quest for freedom.

Maya’s poetic tribute, “His Day is Done” goes as follows:

“Yes, Mandela’s day is done. Yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation. And we will respond generously to the cries of blacks and whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet,” she says in the poem.

“Nelson Mandela’s day is done. We confess it in tearful voices. Yet we lift our own to say thank you. Thank you, our Gideon. Thank you, our David, our great, courageous man. We will not forget you. We will not dishonour you. We will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us and that you loved us all.”

Listen to Maya perform the poem below: