Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou, a.k.a. Miss Calypso

Some of you will think this is a reach, but I’m seeing a definite, and quite amazing (to my eyes) visual resonance between Maya Angelou’s “Miss Calypso“ album cover of 1957 and the original 1969 cover for “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” (The album’s “winged” red figure on a black ground with a fire becomes a winged black figure on a red ground and a sun on the book.) Always rising, always on fire. 

By now you’ve read that the phenomenal Dr. Angelou was a dancer and a calypso singer in the 1950s. If you haven’t yet seen the interview with Oprah where she watches a clip of herself in the film, “Calypso Heat Wave,” you should. There are more photos of her performing here. I also recommend NY Times columnist, Charles Blow’s Maya & Me & Maya. It’s a very personal articulation of loss and a powerful tribute.

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