Two interesting facts about the late Maya Angelou.

At Fishwrap, Michael Sean Winters has reminded us that the late writer Maya Angelou once recounted to Family Circle Magazine that, as a pregnant teen, she chose to keep her baby instead of opting for abortion. HERE  Kudos to MSW for that link to the moving account.

Later in life, Maya Angelou defend life again when she used her gun to fend off a home invasion.

She recounted to TIME  that she likes “to have guns around”. HERE

In response to a question about whether she “inherited” her “mother’s fondness for guns,” Angelou replied, “Well, I do like to have guns around, I don’t like to carry them. But I like — if somebody is going to come into my house and I have not put out the welcome mat, I want to stop them.”

Maya’s mom also had a fondness for guns, it seems.

“I was in my house… in North Carolina. It was fall…I heard the rhythm of someone walking on the leaves and they came to my door. And somebody actually turned the knob. So I said, “Stand back! Stand four feet back because I’m going to shoot now!” Boom! Boom! The police came by and said, ‘Ms. Angelou, the shots came from inside the house.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t know how that happened.’”

There is a video of the interview. HERE  The remarks occur about about 3:00.  The interviewer is pretty shocked, and the video was edited a bit.

I don’t care for her poetry very much, but what a great voice and laugh that woman had.  Fantastic.  I’ll bet having a meal with her would have been a tremendous experience.

In any event, I am so glad that Maya Angelou had an equalizer and was able to avoid being harmed in a home invasion.  She was a defender of life, that of her baby and her own as well.

I hope that all my readers here of the fairer sex can defend themselves, prudently but decisively if – quod Deus avertat – necessary.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. benedetta says:

    I have always been fond of Maya Angelou, her work and her witness. I have used her writing in teaching. I daresay her views and experiences are much closer to mainstream America’s than the vast majority of what comes out of the fishwrap and kin. Too bad they do not listen to the witness of a woman like her and speak truth to power where in the various places where their activists enjoy considerable political influence.

    Maya Angelou is an example of someone with vision. She was not the sum of collective political demands, and could not be defined by same. Any organization that cannot openly appreciate that social justice begins with permitting the preborn to live is not worthy of leading our country.

  2. Long-Skirts says:

    “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.” Maya Angelou

    Isn’t that beautiful?

  3. acardnal says:

    The attribution of that quote to Maya Angelou is dubious as a Google search will reveal. Some attribute it to Max Lucado, some associate it with Carol Wimmer or others. It’s true attribution is uncertain, but it wasn’t Maya.

  4. a catechist says:

    quod Deus advertat….
    but yes, my husband gave me both the rifles I own, and I inherited my great-grandmother’s saddle shotgun. Any of my sisters in Christ reading this who are dubious of long guns, you should know they make “ranger” or “compact” rifles that are lighter weight and have a shorter stock for those of us who aren’t especially tall. As my shooting instructor said, “click-clack, clack-click is the sound of civilization.” I’ll own a handgun if I ever feel the need.

  5. wolfeken says:

    Another interesting fact about her is she was a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Who could deny the quality of that voice. She had a really unique way of articulating and the cadence, like poetry itself. I read a little of her work and enjoyed it, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. I hope she is in heaven now. God rest her soul.

  7. ckdexterhaven says:

    Her grandson was kidnapped by his biological mother. It was 5 years before they got him back. Maya and her son were very forgiving of the mother who kidnapped the boy.

    I am sorry to say that I judged Maya Angelou on her politics (when I just assumed she was a liberal.) Well, I judged her by that poem from the Clinton inauguration, too. She is an American success story, to be sure.

  8. Bea says:

    Found this through google:

    Quotes by Max Lucado
    “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
    ? Max Lucado

    Perhaps Ms Angelou was just quoting him and somebody thought she made it up herself, unless she is guilty of plagiarism.

    Either way, it’s a beautiful quote. Perhaps the upcoming synod on marriage would be well to address this thinking (working both ways/”A man’s heart…….etc.) After all the holiest of marriages are those where husband and wife seek God and do His Will. I hope the synod isn’t based on psychology of marriage. That would be the world speaking.

    Ah, well, as to guns, my husband is very protective. I feel safe with him and we’re almost always together. Ah well, hope none of us here ever have a need for one. I don’t think I could live with myself if I ever had to harm anyone.

  9. Lori Pieper says:

    I loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and would recommend it. It’s a wonderful book.

    Here’s what I wrote about Maya Angelou’s prolife beliefs and her passing.

    There is also a terrific story, if you click on the last link, about how her son became paralyzed and asked her to “pull the plug” if he couldn’t be cured. Her reaction was priceless.

    Too bad that, like too many black leaders, she was taken in by Planned Parenthood, though it’s clear her basic beliefs and instincts were quite different.

  10. stephen c says:

    wolfeken – you are of course right, this unfortunate woman apparently had zero, and I mean zero in the most specific way, compassion for unborn children who were not her own. However, like Margaret Thatcher, like John Roberts, like the “special forces” Obama-praising admiral who recently gave a speech to Texas graduates about his wonderful days as a Seal trainee, like Billy Graham, and like a multitude of other semi-Christian semi-Molochite (or is that semi-Christian semi-Baalite?) authors, politicians, and other pro-abortion, or at least not anti-abortion, celebrities, many of those who have followed the “signs of the times” of our days have been, for some reason, repeatedly denied the grace of being told what is wrong and what is right, with respect to our unborn little brothers and sisters. I honestly do not understand this; as much as I feel for the babies who are not allowed to live, and for our suffering Lord who created them in order that they might live, I feel almost as much for the idiotic abortion supporters, like Maya, who sadly, selfishly, and foolishly thought it was all right to deprive those children of the enjoyment of life, and who obviously were never told, in an effective and timely way, about the Good News as given by the Lord of Life.

  11. jflare says:

    It’s tough for me to know what to think about Maya Angelou, really. I can recall having heard of her only once before, during a class in Intercultural Communications, a class that I decided intended to teach Secularism. Given that and she appears to have been a poet, I don’t easily care much for her. Most occasions, I don’t do well with poetry, unless it’s set to music in a beautiful manner; thus my distaste for The Highwayman…until Loreena McKennit’s musical version.

    On the whole, I guess I’ll hope that she lived virtuously.

  12. benedetta says:

    Sad that she was instrumentalized and exploited by PP. Unfortunately some artists and those inclined toward aesthetics believe that so long as one aims for beauty that morality, justice, right-acting, authentic advocacy for the poor and vulnerable, are, beneath them, somehow not worth their precious time. So long as they surround themselves with a beauty of their own special design, their worship is only of themselves ultimately, and quite condemning of human life and devoid of humanism. It is a common error in our times.

  13. Marissa says:

    Any of my sisters in Christ reading this who are dubious of long guns, you should know they make “ranger” or “compact” rifles that are lighter weight and have a shorter stock for those of us who aren’t especially tall.

    M1 Carbine is an excellent size for a woman (even a small one). If a 90-pound Vietcong woman can carry and shoot it while running through the jungle and subsisting on rice, you can too!

    Ms. Angelou and her mother were probably aware that the first gun control laws in the United States were instituted to restrict gun ownership by former slaves.

  14. AnAmericanMother says:

    A short rifle is an excellent alternative to a shotgun. I have a Win 94 lever action in .357 and it is light, handy, fast and effective. I shoot Cowboy Action with it and my times hover in the low 50s and high 40s (10 rifle rounds, 10 pistol (2 single action revolvers), and 4-6 shotgun (breech loading coach gun).
    I wouldn’t recommend semi-auto *anything* for a novice unless they are willing to practice-practice-practice. And the M1 Carbine has a bad odor in our family for the following reason:
    My dad, a combat engineer whose assigned firearm was the M1 Carbine, was in at the taking of Biela in Italy. He rounded a corner and literally bumped helmets with a German soldier. Fritz spun round and made tracks – Dad swung up his rifle and went to hit the safety (“Why did you have the safety on in combat Daddy?” “Didn’t want to shoot myself in the foot.”) but hit the clip release by mistake and dropped all his bullets in the street. Fritz fortunately didn’t hear the pitter-patter of brass and kept right on running. Dad said he picked up a Garand off a dead GI and carried it the rest of the war.
    Pray, if you would, for the repose of his soul. He died just under a year ago.

Comments are closed.