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Maya Angelou’s Close Relationship With Malcolm X Rarely Discussed

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maya angelous relationship with Malcolm x is often not talked about www.naturallymoi.com

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Reported by April Taylor

With Maya Angelou’s passing, many people have talked about her contributions and legacy as an author, poet, and teacher.  However, many are overlooking her contributions as a staunch civil rights activist.  ThinkProgress.com recently published a list of five facts about Angelou’s accomplishments as a freedom fighter that few people know.

One of the things that gets left out of Angelou’s narrative is her close relationship with Malcolm X.  When Angelou moved back to the United States from living in Ghana for several years, her intentions were to help Malcolm start the Organization of African-American Unity.  The organization was going to speak up about the plight of black people in the United States and aim to earn international allies in the struggle for equality.  Malcolm was assassinated shortly after her arrival back in the United States, on Angelou’s birthday.

Many people are also unaware of her involvement as a leader and fundraiser for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  Angelou was an organizer for the play Cabaret for Freedom, which helped raise money for SCLC during a five-week run.  After Malcolm X’s assassiantion, she served as the Northern Coordinator of SCLC.

In a display of her independence of thought and free spirit, Angelou was a supporter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  Angelou did not buy into the notion that anyone who was a Communist was her enemy, and she also felt that the Cuban people’s struggle was part of a larger, systemic struggle faced by many people of color.

While many are aware of Angelou’s deep faith, few people realize that she was a strong advocate of marriage equality.  During New York state’s consideration of an equal marriage measure, Angelou called Senator Shirley Hunt, who opposed the measure, to voice her own support and encourage her to vote for the measure.  Huntley eventually changed her mind and voted in favor of the measure.

In the weeks before her passing, Angelou’s passion for social justice never waned, as she spoke out about the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls.  Angelou’s legacy as a leader and social justice activist will continue to serve as an example for those with the drive to change the injustices that exist in the world.

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