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„Years ago I read a man named Machado de Assis who wrote a book called Dom Casmurro.“

—  Maya Angelou

Machado de Assis is a South American writer — black father, Portuguese mother — writing in 1865, say. I thought the book was very nice. Then I went back and read the book and said, Hmm. I didn’t realize all that was in that book. Then I read it again, and again, and I came to the conclusion that what Machado de Assis had done for me was almost a trick: he had beckoned me onto the beach to watch a sunset. And I had watched the sunset with pleasure. When I turned around to come back in I found that the tide had come in over my head. That’s when I decided to write.
Paris Review Interview (1990)

„I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.“

—  Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise

"Still I Rise"
And Still I Rise (1978)
Contexto: Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

„Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.“

—  Maya Angelou, livro Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas

Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976), chapter 5.
Contexto: A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.... Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.

„We cry for you
although we have lost
your name.“

—  Maya Angelou, livro I Shall Not Be Moved

"Savior"
I Shall Not Be Moved (1990)
Contexto: p>Visit us again, Savior.Your children, burdened with
disbelief, blinded by a patina
of wisdom,
carom down this vale of
fear. We cry for you
although we have lost
your name.</p

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