Maya Rockeymoore recently wrote in BK Nation about the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, her namesake and constant source of inspiration:

I grew up with my mother telling me often that I was named after Dr. Maya Angelou, the great writer and poet laureate who died today at the age of 86. As the story goes, the year was 1970 and my mother was reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings while I was in the womb. As she finished the book, she swore to herself that if she had a girl she would name her after Maya Angelou because she wanted her daughter to have the author’s same fiercely independent spirit.

The struggle for civil and women’s rights that animated so much of Dr. Angelou’s writings is an ongoing battle that I feel a responsibility to continue to fight by writing nonfiction reports, articles, books, and briefs that illuminate the, often intersecting, racial, ethnic, gender, and class disparities that continue to unfairly disadvantage so many women and men of color a full 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

So, just as Dr. Angelou lived her wonderful, glorious, and fiercely independent life on her own terms in service of others, I too am determined to do the same using my voice, perspective, character development, and agency. This is why “the caged bird sings.” And, given today’s announcement of Dr. Maya Angelou’s death, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to honor my namesake, my family, and myself.

Read #MayaAngelou: Why The Caged Bird Still Sings