Being no means qualified is not enough to stop me from making a recommendation. Though millions had read Maya Angelou’s words by the time I heard of her in 1992, the political nature of my introduction to her was sadly reason enough to keep me from her work for another 21 years. Now to those whose knowledge of Dr. Angelou is far superior to mine I have a suggestion. Listen to her first acclaimed autobiography “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, and though I don’t think there is another version, make sure you to the book read by Dr. Angelou herself. Had I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” I would have enjoyed it, and been appreciative of Dr. Angelou’s great writing. But hearing her words come from her voice propelled by her heart left me moved and in awe. I know many more open hearts been moved by her words for decades, and although I’m slightly embarrassed by my ignorance, I am quite glad to have erased it. I don’t recall exactly how I came to chose to read this book. I know I had read something James Baldwin had written about her, and that may have been all it took to search the library. The instant I heard her voice I could not let go of her story until I reached its end. About 8 or so hours in length, I listened in two sessions while home under the weather. Dr. Angelou’s writing did not cure me, but she certainly inspired me.For quite some time I have believed that one of the proofs of Jesus divinity are African-American folk who have recognized His Love despite its introduction coming from the very same folks that introduced them to tyranny, pain, and slavery. The blending of her words and voice allowed me to hear that Love that has remained despite all the evil Dr. Angelou faced. It is what allowed her to offer grace, even though justice was needed. She never ceases her quest to justice, but it is not a prerequisite for her grace. I think this is in large part because even when she is holding a mirror allowing injustice to be seen, she never denies her sharing of the human condition – a need for grace. By not allowing the message of Love to be eclipsed by its often evil messenger, Dr. Angelou enables all of us, bearers of pain and creators alike, to see the truth that there is indeed grace to be had.