Remarkable Women project by Armelle Falliex: #5 MAYA ANGELOU



Armelle Falliex’s Statement
About the painting by Beatrice Chassepot
Poem by Maya Angelou: Women


 Armelle Falliex’s Statement

“Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, April 4, 1928. She died in Winston-Salem, May 28, 2014.

She is a writer, actor, poet, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, essayist and African American activist.

She grew up in Missouri then California and Arkansas, a state where segregation was still rife.
Before her twenty years, she lives in California where she is raising her son Guy, and a few years later she went to live in New York City in the Harlem neighborhood.
After meeting with the South African Vusumzi Make, companion of Nelson  Mandela, she got involved alongside Malcolm X and became the coordinator of the New York section of the organization of Martin Luther King

At the age of forty and after the death of Martin Luther King, encouraged by the writer James Baldwin Harlem she will start writing
Maya Angelou is known for her autobiographical works “I know why the caged bird sings” (1969) and “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes” (1986)

Her collection of poems “Just give me a cold drink of water fore I die” (1971) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

In 1993, Maya Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the request of Bill Clinton for his inaugural speech.

She has influenced many personalities, including journalist Oprah Winfrey, who often refers to her.

Important figure of American civil rights movement, she became an icon of artistic and political life in the United States, and her books are included in the school curriculum.” Armelle Falliex


maya angelouAbout the painting by Beatrice Chassepot

 As an African American, Angelou experienced firsthand racial prejudices and discrimination in Arkansas. She also suffered at the hands of a family associate around the age of 7: During a visit with her mother, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. Then, as vengeance for the sexual assault, Angelou’s uncles killed the boyfriend. So traumatized by the experience, Angelou stopped talking. She returned to Arkansas and spent years as a virtual mute.”

Armelle Falliex shows Maya’s face intricate with the word “FREEDOM” because words helped her express herself, express the world.
Also on the bottom left of the painting those beige/ocher lines look like waves and give a sense of fluidity. It’s like her face is surrounded with it. This is the same fluidity that good poems and good writings require.

POEM: Women

I’ve got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can call my own.
Maya Angelou