I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Your legacy, she [Maya Angelou] said, . . . is every gay person who decided to come out because they saw your show.
Maya Angelou’s Memorial Service
(see 11:45 into video)
Calling Us Higher
by Tyler Perry
At Dr. Maya Angelou’s memorial service, First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech blew my mind. Oprah’s words were phenomenal. Ms. Tyson’s reflections were heartwarming. Lee Ann Womack sang my favorite song, “I Hope You Dance”. Valerie Simpson made me want to shout for joy.
But it was something that former President Bill Clinton said that shook something in me. He was talking about her life and all that she had done. All of her books, poems and accolades. She worked with civil rights giants including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He went on and on and then he said, “On her 40th birthday Dr. King was assassinated.” I thought, to myself, “Dear God, she had done all of that by 40.”
I’m 44, I’m behind… LOL. I got so inspired. Her life was such an example to all that you can achieve, whatever you’d like, no matter where you came from. Sitting in that chapel I could hear her voice on my phone as it had been many times. The conversation would always start with “Hello you brilliant man”. She made me light up and feel like I could do anything. That was her gift to us all. And above the beauty of the celebration of her life yesterday, more than anything in that room, what I felt most was her life calling us all higher.
God, thank you for allowing us to have shared this planet with Dr. Maya Angelou.