Maya Angelou Reacts To Zimmerman Trial, Evokes Civil Rights Era

“What is really injured, bruised, if you will, is the psyche of our national population."

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Author, poet, and activist Maya Angelou was shaken by the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial, saying it shows “how far we have to go” as a country. “That one man, armed with a gun can actually profile a young man because he is black and end up shooting him dead…It is so painful,” Angelou said in an interview with TIME Monday.

The case, which was decided Saturday, has caused deep divisions across the country. Some believe the verdict was a grave injustice. Others believe Zimmerman was acting in self-defense and had every right to stand his ground against Trayvon Martin.

Angelou, however, believes the verdict’s impact will affect people from all communities across the country. “What is really injured, bruised, if you will, is the psyche of our national population,” Angelou said. “We are all harmed. We are all belittled, and we give to the rest of the world more ammunition to sneer at us. “

Since the verdict people have stepped out in protest in cities across the country, echoing cries of “No Justice, No Peace,” on behalf of the slain teen. Angelou said the acts of protest evoke memories of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington, which is approaching its 50th anniversary.

Angelou, who received the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was led by Dr. King, during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1993, she delivered the inaugural poem for incoming President Bill Clinton.

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, King delivered the celebrated speech during which he said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

Decades later, Angelou reflected on those words. “It is of interest that we are now celebrating that speech at the same time that there are people in the street again all over the country protesting the Zimmerman trial,” Angelou said. “It is amazing that it could happen actually 50 years ago.”

2087 comments
KristiWhitaker
KristiWhitaker

This is my first time responding to anything I see online. I was reading Time Magazine and saw the comments from Maya A. I am a woman of color. If you read what she says, it's not about one case or one victim. It is nice to have an artist respond neutrally to events in our presence. And as far as her compensation...we give more money to dumb azz Nikki minages, Both Justin's etc....and they laugh at us. We pay money to see movies remade from classic books, Great Gatsby, Les Miserables. Appreciate that. And don't forget slavery and how all u whites and your ansestors murdered blacks, Indians, and everyone else you could destroy...we have poems, stories of struggles. You have white sheets....and no more white power!!

racisthater
racisthater

It's pathetic to see the level of hatred, ignorance and sheer stupidity posted on this site. Thank God we have Stevetanton  around to enlighten us with his vast intellect. How else would we know what an arrogant, self-centered and heartless pompous ass he really is.

ChasEllsworth
ChasEllsworth

Angelou is supporting the color of her skin above all else, instead of considering facts, when she uses her well known status to speak. 

I hope they burn all of her writings until the end of time for this injustice she has spoken here.


PaulFrantizek
PaulFrantizek

More drivel from our reigning Queen of Self-Absorbed New Age Pablum.  Must be nice to get paid seven figure advances to write an endless stream of poorly punctuated tomes keening with woe over the nation which has made you a millionaire many times over.

Maybe Maya Angelou can include her opinion on the Zimmerman Case in the next fictional 'memoir' she writes.  That will make it, what, fifteen?

In a popular culture filled to overflowing with overrated personalities, Maya Angelou still manages to stand out.

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

THIS MAYA ANGELOU......WHAT MADE HER A POET?..........JOHN LENON IS A BETTER POET THAN HER......NOW MAYA IS FOMENTING RACE BAITING.......LIKE JESSIE THE SHAKEDOWN JACKSON AND AL THE TAWANA BRAWLEY BOGUS CRAPS SHARPTON AND THE MEDIA AND GOS KNOWS WHO ELSE.....

OBAMA INSTEAD OF UNITING THIS COUNTRY.......HOODWINKED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE......OBAMA HATES WHITES......READ HIS BOOK ....."DREAMS FROM MY FATHER"......HE IS DESTROHYING AMERICA.....HE IS GRINDING IT INTO THE GROUND.......AND THE BLACK PEOPLE TOGETHER WITH IT......OBAMA IS HALF WHITE.....;LIKE JESSE JACKSON SAID.....HE HAS NO SLAVE BLOOD ON HIM........HE WAS DOING WHITE WOMEN AND WHEN HE WANTED  A POLITICAL CAREER.......WENT BLACK....EQUAL....MICHELLE THE MOOCHER.

THE ONLY RACISM I SEE IS ON TELEVISION WITH THESE KIND OF PEOPLE.....ON A DAILY BASIS.....BLACKS AND WHITE GET ALONG WELL.....

WE ARE ALL AMERICANS......IDIOTS ELECTED OBAMA.....USE YOUR HEAD.....IF THE ANGLOS HATED NEGROES AS THE MEDIA SAYS.....OBAMA WOULD STILL BE IN HAWAII SMOKING DOPE AND SNORTING COKE....

VALENTINE, WORLD HISTORIAN, COMEDIAN...LOL

PS

RAY DWAN CHONG....JUST CALPRAH A NGGGGRRRR BIILTHCH......I HEARD ON THE RADIO.....IS THIS TRUE?

VV

joestuffsda
joestuffsda

The white race continues to show its true color lack.

MaryKinuthia
MaryKinuthia

Should be punished for insubordination! He disobeyed orders.

GwenGoble-Bartzen
GwenGoble-Bartzen

Just proves that people only hear what they want to hear. The "Stand Your Ground" law had NO BEARING on this case. It's not SYG when someone is sitting on your chest.

ScottM.Allen
ScottM.Allen

I'm wondering .....   What about all the INTENTIONAL and Targeted Black On White Villence ( that is not being reported ) What about "polar bear hunting"  .....   What about the web site White Girls Bleed Alot ....  These are legitimate questions that are being ignored.  What about http://violenceagainstwhites.wordpress.com/the-hate-crimes-you-dont-hear-about/    Is it legitimate to be concerned ?  Or is that racist too ?   Somethings very wrong here..... 

ScottM.Allen
ScottM.Allen

This case wouldn'nt have made it past a Grand Jury.  Not based on the legal merits of the case. 

VermyilThomas
VermyilThomas

How does Zimmerman holller "help" "help" "help" with a gun in his hand.  He had all the help a man needed, a gun?  Why did he think he was above the law and  not listen to orders to not pursue this kid?  Were was the DNA on the gun or on Zimmermans clothes if  Travon was attacking him and he had to use his gun to get him off? This case was mockery, brought and sold to the devil and so is Zimmermans soul. 

notsacredh
notsacredh

I hate white people. They dance like they're having convulsions and eat sushi.

aztecian
aztecian

maya your brilliance is beyond measure.  thank you for enriching the lives of so many, especially the young.  without you and your vigilance many would not comprehend the significance of the plight both past and present.

hgdn
hgdn

The comparison to the assassination of Dr. King is invalid and demeaning to Dr. King's sacrifice.

ShelterSomerset
ShelterSomerset

Meanwhile, the number of white Americans targeting blacks is so infinitesimal you can't really even measure it. Must be nice to be rich like Maya and live in a racist society like the USA. How on earth did she do it?

TyPollard
TyPollard

Almost 2000 comments!  

Mostly venting, resentful whites - resenting that blacks are resentful.

So hard being part of the majority.

ferguskelleher
ferguskelleher

@KristiWhitaker 

 'all u whites and your ancestors murdered blacks' - if that's really what you think then it's a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@joestuffsda based on what?  The posts of few bigots?

Just what do you base your claim on.  Be specific.  

Be specific or STFU

AnnaKeretzigArchig
AnnaKeretzigArchig

The world is turning counterclockwise Scott. This world has become a axary place to live for white people.

Fufs
Fufs

@ScottM.Allen Scott.... ANY time someone is targeted and murdered REGARDLESS of the color is WRONG WRONG WRONG..... black on white....white on black....green on purple....  The difference is....those BLACK murderers are not WALKING AWAY FREE..... They are punished for their crimes.   If you and others are pissed off about these crimes.... Why don't you hold your own protest?  Get people together and do something about it...... 

sonhead000
sonhead000

@VermyilThomas Screw you.  I follow anyone I want on my street.   All the fathers/husbands on my street do the same.  We are all armed (and with much better than Z's cheap little 9mm).  We keep our families safe and apologize to no one for it.  If Po'LittleTray had simply behaved like any decent kid and stated his business, I believe Z would have said have a good evening and everyone would have went home just fine.  Unless Trayvon stopped to steal something after he left Z, of course.

PaulFrantizek
PaulFrantizek

@VermyilThomas GZ was not 'ordered' to do anything.  Not even the prosecution attempted to make that leap.

There are actually some fairly serious liability concerns regarding 911 Operators and what they can say to callers.  They are quite deliberate about phrasing their instructions as requests or suggestions because they don't want the liability if they tell someone to do something and it goes wrong.

And your point on DNA is a canard.  Real life is not an episode of CSI.  People do not leave DNA on every single thing they touch.

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@VermyilThomas  

Here is all you need to know, and I think you might just understand it.

TRAYvon assaulted an armed cracker.

TRAYvon be dead.

Lesson:  Don't assault an armed cracker.

Lesson over.  No charge.

VermyilThomas
VermyilThomas

@sacredh I eat sushi too, but I am not white.  Black and proud.  Don't hate, take your anger and use it in a proactive way. Don't use or buy anthing from compainies based in Florida, our dollar does mean something whether they say so are not.  Unite and form a group in your community to work together with a local elected offical to change the "Stand your ground Law" in states that have it.  Polititans are always looking for supporters have them support you for your vote. 

VermyilThomas
VermyilThomas

@hgdn Dr. King was a Black man with a vision of equality for all people.  Travon Martin was a young Black man and no one got to know his vision as been taken away and the true face of inquility has reared its ugly head.  Nothing demeaning about it, just facts.

GlennaJones-Kachtik
GlennaJones-Kachtik

@hgdn  - In your opinion. - To others it is valid & not demeaning in the least.  His wish that in the future that his children (who are black) would be judged for their character instead of the color of their skin - STILL isn't happening.  George Zimmerman judged Trayvon Martin by the color of his skin & for wearing a hoodie on a rainy night. in Feb.  He followed him because HE thought Trayvon was suspicious.  He had called the police 45 times in a few month period & all the "suspects" he called on were black.  It is thus hard to argue that this was not about race...He didn't follow Trayvon for any reason other than he "THOUGHT" he was guilty.  He didn't care about the content of Trayvon's character - just that he was black & he profiled him. 

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@ShelterSomerset  

Mainly with the support of white people.  Opps, gave one away there.  The success of blacks in America is dependent on white people.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest women in the world because of...(all together now)  white people.

 

GlennaJones-Kachtik
GlennaJones-Kachtik

@ShelterSomerset  We can bring up all sorts of black Americans who target whites...their faces are plastered everywhere, right?  How conveniently we forget about the thousands of blacks who were hung from trees, who were blown up, & who were slain by the KKK?  It IS a racist society...The problem is we have people who WON'T talk about it & who deny it even exists.

VermyilThomas
VermyilThomas

@TyPollard I don't resent a damm thing. It is what is and I call as I see it. Right is righ and wrong is wrong and there are no two ways about it.  This killing, because that's what it was and this trial was an unjust.  Join the minority if you think its so hard being part of the minority.

ahandout
ahandout

@TyPollardDepends on what part of the country you live in.  I'm a minority. 

Thanks for adding another ignorant comment to the mix.  Most of the comments are about a perception of guilt based on no evidence of racism.

But the left has a hero in Rachel Jeantel as long as she says what they want to hear.  It doesn't matter that she is ignorant, and lied on the witness stand, just stay on the reservation; or is that the plantation of Rev. Al?

aztecian
aztecian

@TyPollard resentful whiny whites...too sorry for themselves, can't get over the old southern traditions, always wanting to go back to the jim crow days.

cecilnbeanie
cecilnbeanie

Very understandable, but so much more to it.

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@VermyilThomas @hgdn  

It is an abomination to speak of Dr King and TRAYvon as if there was any comparison.  They had nothing in common except their race.  Oh, right!  Race is all that matters to you, isn't it.  Whining about race, shouting about race.

You don't giveasht about TRAYvon.  You just want an excuse to rail against "the man."

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@GlennaJones-Kachtik @hgdn  

Glenna, and just how do you know that Zimmerman judged TRAYvon by the color of his skin?  You don't.  YOu are just another dumbas* injecting your venom.

Here it is, simplified, just for you.

TRAYvon assaulted an armed cracker.  TRAYvon be dead.

 

 

TyPollard
TyPollard

@VermyilThomas @TyPollard 

I agree with you. 

I see the benefits of white privilege and am embarrassed that so many are bitter and resentful that African Americans of other people of color want the same opportunities and fairness.

It is shameful.

ShelterSomerset
ShelterSomerset

@aztecian @TyPollard More like they want to move forward and quit living in a bygone era unlike the Left Wing which keeps us perpetually guilty for the past. 

TyPollard
TyPollard

@aztecian @TyPollard 

I don't know about that. Maybe they just want "them" to know their place. 

How dare Maya Angelou have a different opinion of a trial.

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@mantisdragon91 @CitizenRight @aztecian  

I am responding to, mainly, low IQ individuals who make emotional statements and have no knowledge of the facts of the case, or, apparently how the judicial system works in our country. 

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@mantisdragon91 @CitizenRight @aztecian  

LOL, I am a lousy human being for saying that Maya Angelou is a lousy poet? 

LOL, you mental midgets are great for humor.  Your thought process and your response is typical low IQ stuff.

But, keep it up.  It is very entertaining to us.

CitizenRight
CitizenRight

@VermyilThomas @CitizenRight @GlennaJones-Kachtik @hgdn  

That cracker be armed.  TRAYvon is dead because he assaulted an armed cracker, egged on by his center fold girlfriend, telling him on the phone, "Put some whoopass on that cracker!"

Not wanting to disappoint his girl friend TRAYvon, who was almost home and looking forward to getting high-er, turned around and sought out Zimmerman and assaulted him.

 Opps.  

ahandout
ahandout

@TyPollard @ahandout Ty, who do you think lead the charge for Zimmerman's head?  Al and Jesse.  I didn't equate blacks with slavery.  

You guys are in charge of all the outreach programs.  How's that working out for blacks?  After 50+ years of programs to help minorities, they find themselves further and further dependent instead of being independent.  Still the same poverty rate, still waiting and waiting for the white liberals to rescue them.  That's all that will ever come from the big lie that they need government's help.  

But, look what happens to blacks who reject the democrats views.  They are mercilessly attacked, called names, called racist names, and every attempt is made to discredit them because they are dangerous to liberals.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout @TyPollard Like the gangs of the inner cities of Chicago, Philly, New York, and all of S. California, Etc.  No, the thousands dead from the real hateful murdering thugs don't really create the same narrative, so you just overlook them. 

TyPollard
TyPollard

@ahandout @TyPollard 

Equating Blacks of today with Slavery because they disagree with you is exactly the insulting you intend it to be. It's offensive also to people of good faith that DO want to help repair the stain of slavery. To use it as a punch line diminishes the horror inflicted on these ancestors and their descendants. It is why all people of good intentions see the Republican Party as the party of bigotry. Good luck with you minority out reach. I'm confident your tent is getting smaller and smaller.

P.S. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson are about as relevant as Newt Gingrich in that they are not.

ahandout
ahandout

@TyPollard @ahandout Not racial resentment, fool.  Blacks can be the victim, stay on Jesse's and Al's campaign of ignorance and be useful idiots to the democrats if they want.  At some point, you would think that they would look around and say "Hey, these guys have been just using us for decades."