Maya Angelou On Phenomenal Women

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, writers, and musicians.

Maya AngelouMaya Angelou (April 04,1928 – May 28, 2014)

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Listen to Dr. Maya Angelou reading her poem Phenomenal Woman here.

Photo Credit: African Queen by Marlene Page, Livingston College, (1969). The African Queen is representative of all Black Women and has occupied a place of honor in every home I have lived over the last fifty years.

Listen to Carlos Santana play and Alicia Keys play and sing Black Magic Woman here.

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On This Day, February 06, 1956, University of Alabama suspends African-American student Autherine Lucy claiming that it can no longer provide for her safety.