A Small Tribute To Phenomenal Women

GSF-MayaAngelou

 

Maya Angelou photos via Photobucket.
The great American poet and author, Maya Angelou, passed away 2 days ago at the age of 86.  She used the power of words to bring healing to many people.  One of these people was my mother.  Suffering from an abusive childhood, Ms. Angelou’s words, along with The Bible, brought my mother peace and comfort.  Her favorite book was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

 

The first phenomenal woman in my life
The first phenomenal woman in my life – Mom in 1983

 

Not only did Maya Angelou write about the black experience in America, she also had a way of understanding the human condition.  My favorite poem from Maya Angelou is “Phenomenal Woman”, written in 1978.  This poem brought me solace in a world that harbors a hatred of women – especially women of color and those of us who don’t fit the standard Westernized, white-is-right, fat-is-horrible, beauty ideal.

In honor of, not only Maya Angelou, but to all the amazing, beautiful, fierce women in my life, I’m sharing her wonderful poem with all of you.  The accompanying photos are some of the phenomenal women who have been a big part of my life.

 

(In the photo galleries, you can click on or scroll your cursor over each photo for more information.)

 

PHENOMENAL WOMAN

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

 

 

GSF-Jess.incar
My amazing and brilliant sister, J

 

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 

 

Two of my favorite dancers, Rin Ajna & Ebony
Two of my favorite dancers, Rin Ajna & Ebony

 

 

The Queen of Tribal Fusion
The Queen of Tribal Fusion, Rachel Brice (image via Photobucket)

 

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 

A few of my stunning dance instructors.  L-R: Jen, Colleen (my first dance instructor), Rachel Brookmire (director of Sahara Dance DC), and Elisa.  (Photo courtesy of Sahara Dance)
Four of my dance instructors , UDM 2012. (L-R): Jen, Colleen (my first dance teacher), Rachel Kay Brookmire (director of Sahara Dance), and Elysa. (Image source)

 

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 

The awesome ladies of Raquettes Samia - UDM 2013 (Photo courtesy of Toscana Photography)
The awesome ladies of Raquettes Samia – UDM 2013 (Photo courtesy of Toscana Photography)

 

 

With my dance sisters of Shimmy Mob DC (Photo courtesy of JP Photography)
Dancing with Shimmy Mob DC (Photo courtesy of JP Photography)

 

I cried a little bit, writing this post.  I am very lucky to have so many beautiful, talented, and truly awesome women touch my life.  I hope this poem brings you peace, love and happiness, just like it does for me.  I also hope that I’m doing my part to bring love, light and creativity to all whom I come into contact with.

 

MayaAngelou.PhenomWoman
(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“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.”interview from the July issue of Beautifully Said Magazine, 2012

 

If you’re not familiar with this amazing woman, you can go to her official website.  Her life was too vast and extraordinary for this blog to do it justice.

 

Much Love & Many Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

GSF-me.CR.purpdress

Leave a Reply