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One of a pair, the 70 foot tall granite #nyc Egyptian obelisk has a pyramidal top and is also known as Cleopatra’s needle. In 1881 it was set @centralparknyc on elevated bedrock to protect against any “violent convulsion of nature.” Notes from my #run and #muse for #travelTuesday.  #resiliency #girltrekremix #gilrtrek #nikeplus
 (at Central Park Obelisk)

One of a pair, the 70 foot tall granite #nyc Egyptian obelisk has a pyramidal top and is also known as Cleopatra’s needle. In 1881 it was set @centralparknyc on elevated bedrock to protect against any “violent convulsion of nature.” Notes from my #run and #muse for #travelTuesday. #resiliency #girltrekremix #gilrtrek #nikeplus
(at Central Park Obelisk)

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Did not see #mayaangelou tribute, saw a phenomenal #graffiti art collection all over the neighborhood. Noteworthy: We all need space to create, to be creative some will use the places left undone to shape the future. Creative work matters. #Queens diversity #nyc #sundaymuse #placemaking (at Vernon Blvd, Lic, Qns)

Did not see #mayaangelou tribute, saw a phenomenal #graffiti art collection all over the neighborhood. Noteworthy: We all need space to create, to be creative some will use the places left undone to shape the future. Creative work matters. #Queens diversity #nyc #sundaymuse #placemaking (at Vernon Blvd, Lic, Qns)

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Brave and Startling Truth

     by Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

In 2011 Maya Angelou presented her poem a “Brave and Startling Truth” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations.

In 2012, I was honored to have Maya Angelou select my poem “Be Well” for display at in the new space at the Maya Angelou Health & Wellness Center at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in North Carolina.

—Katherine Ellington

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1993 interview conducted by Bernard White and Carletta Joy Walker

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#PalmSunday Time, Talent, Treasure – Have we tithed mint or mercy? The apostle wrote: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced
without neglecting the others.” Matthew: 25:25  Dr. William J. Barber @naacp #moralmonday #forwardtogether #TheRiversideChurch #socialjustice  (at Riverside Church)

#PalmSunday Time, Talent, Treasure – Have we tithed mint or mercy? The apostle wrote: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced
without neglecting the others.” Matthew: 25:25 Dr. William J. Barber @naacp #moralmonday #forwardtogether #TheRiversideChurch #socialjustice (at Riverside Church)

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Listen up a global view can inform local practice. Women talk entrepreneurship @skollworldforum in progress! #skollwf (at oxford, united kingdom)

Listen up a global view can inform local practice. Women talk entrepreneurship @skollworldforum in progress! #skollwf (at oxford, united kingdom)

Tags: skollwf
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@studiomuseum visit expands my reading list. #EyeMinded on the shelf. Looking forward to seeing “Witness: Art and Civill Rights in the Sixties” @brooklynmuseum #nyc #spring  (at Studio Museum in Harlem)

@studiomuseum visit expands my reading list. #EyeMinded on the shelf. Looking forward to seeing “Witness: Art and Civill Rights in the Sixties” @brooklynmuseum #nyc #spring (at Studio Museum in Harlem)

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Improvisation: Art out on the street. Herb Alpert’s Freedom, Grace and Gratitude “Spirit Totems” #nyc @nycparks #art #bronze #jazz #muse fr @acagalleries1932  (at Dante Park - Lincoln Center Triangle)

Improvisation: Art out on the street. Herb Alpert’s Freedom, Grace and Gratitude “Spirit Totems” #nyc @nycparks #art #bronze #jazz #muse fr @acagalleries1932 (at Dante Park - Lincoln Center Triangle)

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Sunday Muse go see #CarrieMaeWeems museum exhibits. #nyc #Guggenheim #StudioMuseumHarlem