Angelou enlightens packed Rome Forum
By Spencer Musick
As Dr. Maya Angelou walked onto the stage at the Rome Forum, the entire audience rose to its feet for a long period of applause.
Matching her audience in enthusiasm, Angelou delivered a relaxed oration that captured the hearts of those present.
Angelou began her Sept. 27 speech to the sell-out crowd with a touch of humor.
Remarking that she would not be able to stand for the entire discussion, she asked if a chair and microphone stand could be brought to the stage. After her wish was fulfilled, she reminded her audience to "ask for what you want."
Light-hearted as her demeanor was, Angelou's message of equality was serious and profound.
She asked her audience to "stop using racial pejoratives" and see each individual as a member of the human family.
Angelou extended her philosophy to all of the barriers which segregate society, asserting that race, class, sexual orientation and religion are labels that should be taken out of our vocabularies.
Donna Mantooth, assistant professor of psychology, said that she enjoyed Angelou's discussion immensely. "During her speech, I was enraptured; I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Her persona was enthralling."
"Each one of us has the possibility, probability and privilege to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
-Dr. Maya Angelou
Angelou's message was one of connectedness to all humanity. Each topic she discussed was approached with the love for language that she is famous for.
Angelou discussed the events in her life that were featured in her acclaimed book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
Putting even the most painful parts of her book into perspective, Angelou revealed the crux of the books message: "Each one of us has the possibility, probability and privilege to be a rainbow in someone's cloud, remarked Angelou.