Maya Angelou: 'You have already been paid for' | Events
It was part inspiration. Part entertainment . And a lot of storytelling.
That's what Maya Angelou brought to a crowded audience at the LSU Student Union Theater Tuesday, Feb. 19.
"I wanted to be here to remind you of who you really are and that you have already been paid for," the 84-year-old author and poet told the crowd.
During an hour-long show, Angelou who sat in the middle of the stage with a small table beside her, told stories, sang, recited her poems and others, and encouraged the young people to dream big.
"Young people need to know you are loved, not indulged," she says. "Look at you. There may be someone in here who finds the answer to breast cancer or prostate cancer. Why not you? Who made the rules? Please. Get a hold of yourself."
She recalled her up rough upbringing to a poor family in a "village in Arkansas about the size of this room."
Her mother's boyfriend raped her. She was pregnant at 16 and unmarried. Still years later, she was asked to recite a poem to the United Nations. She has received 70 honorary degrees.
"I was a Black woman who was raped and been on the street. Now here I am in San Francisco reading poems to the heads of state around the world," she says. "Some people may think I'm beyond you, but there's no one above me or beneath me. Get your brain to wake up. You'd be surprised by what you can do."
Angelou visited LSU about 20 years ago. She said she was happy to be back.
She told the crowd she made the 13-hour trip by bus from her home in North Carolina and called LSU a rainbow in the sky.
"I wanted to hear the LSU choir. I mean please come on. It is to my delight," Angelou says.
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