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Dear Dr. Maya Angelou:

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My heart is saddened by current events. I feel as if my own voice has been silenced because you are the voice for all of those who cannot yet speak. You are the courage for those of us who can. You are the truth to my soul. Your voice speaks to me saying. “Not to be afraid.” You are my motivation – someone to look up to. You quenched my spirit with your words. When childhood trauma taught me that I was nothing, you undid my hurt with your gentle yet powerful words. I knew then it was alright to dream…it was alright to believe…..it was alright to speak out ….in words with my words, I could write and express my feelings. You are a leader without the presumptuousness or the ego. You are a dreamer without the disillusion – your dreams were not selfish because they included you, me and all of us. My heart is heavy because I am left to wonder who will mentor us now. Who will believe in us now? Who will continue to do the good work now? Will we be strong enough and spirited enough to take up the cause? I am not sure (I am afraid) but I hope so. We have lost so many mentors during our generation, some as young children and others; we have experienced their loss most recently. It is like an empty space, a blank page from a book, being read not yet complete when one realizes that there is a page missing. Still, I understood the story and your message was complete. Your words spoke loud and clear to me and to all others. Even though I get it, I still would have liked the opportunity to hear you speak that way once again – your words being like lyrics – a song for my soul. I – we will miss you. THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Your pupil and all women (and men) of every race, creed and belief.

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