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Writer, teacher, and activist Maya Angelou has died. In a 1977 interview with Robert Chrisman, the publisher of The Black Scholar, Angelou discusses her daily writing discipline and derides the idea of being a “natural writer.” “Sometimes I will stay up in my room for a day trying to get two sentences that will flow, that will just seem as if they were always there.” She and Chrisman go on to explore in-depth issues of race, culture, art, nationality, and joy. Thirty-seven years before her death, Angelou spoke to her interviewer and crafted an apt epitaph: “Now my problem I have is I love life, I love living life and I love the art of living, so I try to live my life as a poetic adventure, everything I do from the way I keep my house, cook, make my husband happy, or welcome my friends, raise my son; everything is part of a large canvas I am creating, I am living beneath…I want to walk away from it with as much flair and grace and humor as I have had living it.” Read the full interview.

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The Black Scholar, Vol. 8, No. 4, BLACK POLITICS 1977 (January-February 1977), pp. 44-53