Starting a business is an exciting roller coaster of emotions for most people and entrepreneurs. Hi, I am David Green VP of Marketing at Illumination Consulting, a digital agency providing consulting, marketing, design and development services for over 15 years.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will only cause permanent psychological damage.
Sometimes the girl who’s always been there for everyone else needs someone to be there for her. I think i’m afraid to be happy because whenever I get to happy, something bad always happens. I wish I could go back to a time when i could smile and it didn’t take everything in me to do it. You go home, you look in the mirror, you cry, you think you are ugly, you think you are fat, you want to die and the worst thing is, the next day it happens all over again until the day you give up. I don’t think anyone could ever criticize me more severly than the way I viciously criticize myself. Maybe this year Ill get myself off of the floor and try to pretend that things are getting better, That I’m changing but I still feel the same.
That moment when you can actually feel the pain in your chest from seeing or hearing something that breaks your heart. It feels like everyone else is moving on with their lives while I am stuck here in this hole that I can’t climb out of. But the term ‘renaissance’ can be applied to any one person or movement that makes a positive change within society. Maya Angelou is not only one of the most well respected writers of her generation, but the recognized spokesperson for black women and the civil rights activism. Her most prominent literature works, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, continue to taught in schools today and have inspired millions of readers with their tragic tackling of difficult themes such as racism, sexual abuse and equality. Although Maya Angelou has reached successes that many authors, directors and actresses can only dream of, Maya Angelou’s early life and times were difficult. But despite all this she and it’s safe to say that Angelou has become a groundbreaking icon for the global renaissance and her influential voice will always be absorbed into the hearts of those that listen and have evolved under her word. Forever, Angelou will be known as a poet, novelist, actress, lecturer and civil rights activist who made a difference.
When Angelou was three and Bailey Junior four, their parents divorced and Bailey sent his two children to Arkansas by train. Despite the financial struggles that the Depression and Second World War brought to most African Americans at this time Annie had managed to stay well off financially and for four years took care of the children alone. When their father returned unexpectedly in 1935, Marguerite and her brother were returned to their mother in St.
Aged only eight, Angelou was also submitted to sexual abuse at this time by her mother’s boyfriend, Mr.
The effect of the discrimination and abuse inflicted on the young Angelou deeply affected the way in which she saw the world and until she was thirteen, Angelou became mute.
During her time as a mute, Angelou discovered literature with the help of family friend and teacher, Mrs. Just before graduation, Angelou dropped her schooling and worked as the first black female street card conductor in San Francisco. As a result of being a young, single mother, Angelou was forced to move through a series of occupations and cities in attempt to support and raise her son without job training or experience. In 1951 Angelou married Tosh Angelos an aspiring musician from Greece despite her mother’s disapproval of interracial relationships (a common condemnation of the time).
Angelou and her new family moved to New York City following her marriage to Angelos, where she could continue her study of African dance.
It was at The Purple Onion, a club of which Angelou was a regular, that she changed her professional name to Maya Angelou under the recommendation of her managers. The tour allowed Angelou to learn the languages of every country that she visited and in 1957, Angelou recorded her first Album Miss Calypso and appeared in an off-Broadway production which later inspired the film Calypso Heat Wave in which Angelou sang and performed her own compositions. She became heavily involved in the civil rights movement and took part in multiple productions (The Blacks and Cabaret for Freedom) that channel ideas about racial equality. During her years abroad Angelou studied non-stop and met with multiple civil rights movement leaders. With the guidance of fellow novelist James Baldwin, Angelou did just that and began to work on her first book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings an autobiographical text about her life as an African-American writer and poet and her transition from victim to a capable, free young woman. After caged bird, she released over thirty different texts including poetry, non-fiction and fiction works.
Since her success, Angelou has served on two presidential committees, broadcast a live reading of her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Clinton’s inauguration and received over 50 honorary degrees.
So I thought for this first lesson, I’d simply share the extract and let you make your own conclusions as to what I mean by; life is what you make it.
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. In my opinion, Maya Angelou’s work was as successful as it was, because there was nothing like it at the time and there is nothing like it today. And she understood that her abuse and discrimination could be used, not as an excuse not to work, but an excuse to work just little bit harder and they became the most dominant themes in her literary and drama pieces.
But before settling down to work, Angelou ensured she had explored the world around her so that by the time Caged Bird came to mind she had integrated the multiple facets, experiences and skills she had explored in her younger years in her mind. So before starting your next project, whether that’s a poem, a piece of art, a company, a website, consider what experiences and skills are unique to you that you can integrate into your creation.
Every event and everyone you come into contact with as an opportunity to live an eventful life that will contribution to your future calling. Maya Angelou felt the wraith of racism at a time when society would do anything to put her down.
A blistering version of a€?Stagger Leea€? occurs seven tracks deep into Danielle Miragliaa€™s most recent album, Box of Troubles.
So it is that Danielle Miraglia puts her own stamp on a€?Stagger Lee.a€? Of course, ita€™s not her own composition, but surely a cornerstone of her repertoire.


An interview with this refreshingly affable, down-to-earth performer reveals how she became the player and writer she is today.
While her musical aspirations took a back seat during her college career, there was still some dabbling. When Danielle left Emerson, she felt lost for a while, describing herself as a€?unfocused.a€? She wasna€™t able to translate a degree in writing into meaningful employment.
Danielle had a fantasy about moving to Arizona and starting a whole new life out there, getting a fresh start. Her first songs, coming off the dissolution of a relationship were (again) a€?cheesy breakup songs,a€? she said.
At that point, she was a€?writing a ton,a€? and within about six months she enlarged her repertoire to six decent songs and another six months to beginning her first recording.
In addition to the strong, steady thumb beat on the bass strings, Danielle also uses a hollow foot stomp, sometimes amplified. I asked her about the guitars shea€™s favored and she mentioned that the Yamaha her boyfriend got her in high school was a nice beginnera€™s guitar (he took it back when they broke up a€” song opportunity!). Danielle feels that her first two CDs were of little consequence a€” a part of the learning process a€” and that her recording career started in earnest with the album, Nothing Romantic.
In a€?You dona€™t Know Nothin,a€™a€? a reaction to some right-wing radio talk shows, Danielle flashes metaphoric sharpness. The a€?eight oa€™clock shadowa€? then displays his own ignorance, condemning abortion rights marchers on the bara€™s television.
Although I first got cold-cocked by a€?Stagger Leea€? and a€?Loud Talkera€? from Daniellea€™s latest CD, Box of Troubles, there are other standouts. Wea€™re ecstatic that wea€™ve caught up to this supremely intelligent and talented performer. Danielle has had purists disagree with her about not following original styles note-for-note.
At times every step works out with perfection and other times, managing individual tasks comes with challenges. Popular examples of renaissance people include the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Christopher Columbus and William Shakespeare. In today’s post I’m going to be looking at a more modern example of a renaissance woman; Maya Angelou. It was in Arkansas that the siblings lived with their parental grandmother, Annie Henderson. Louis, a place where Angelou most experienced the racial discrimination of American people. Still she developed her passion for the arts, and as a result of her dedication won a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School where she studied dance and drama. Three weeks after going back to school to complete her studies, aged seventeen, Angelou gave birth to her first son Guy. Angelos introduced Angelou to many dancers and choreographers, and encouraged the budding dancer to take part a modern dance classes where she joined multiple modern dancers in a team that performed throughout San Francisco. Here she joined the Harlem Writers guild and met several major African-American authors such as Rosa Guy and Julian Mayfield.
A man she met and grew fond of in 1960 before moving to Cairo the following year to try her hand at journalism, and then Ghana where she continued in this field, working as editor of the African review, whilst lecturing in Ghana’s school for Music and Drama. One of which being Malcolm X whom she moved to the US with to help build a new organization of African American Unity. As was Martin Luther King who had asked Angelou to serve as Coordinator for his Southern Christian Leadership Conferences. It remained on the New York Times best seller list for two years and has since been used in education for its graphic depictions of rape and racism. She has written several autobiographies and appeared in television and films regarding racial issues such as Roots, Poetic Justice and the Black Candle.
The words were actually the very reason I decided to write this post today, because they inspired and motivated me, more than any other speech has in a long time.
And the reason it’s so unique is because she accepted herself as the voice behind the work she was doing.
It requires a great understanding of the world and what makes you unique, but in doing so your projects will be much more meaningful and bring something unique and valuable to the people on the other side. Before she even hit her teenager years she was separated from her parents, exposed to divorce and left facing racial discrimination and sexual abuse alone.
She put her heart into everything she did and did not use her past as an excuse when things went wrong.
Tom Bianchi, her husband and producer on this album, uses an electric violin, a blues harp and a sinuous lead electric guitar with a wah-wah pedal to sustain the cloud of doom that hangs over this historic piece. Her family lived in Everett until she was 8, then moved to nearby Revere, where she grew up. As kids will, she and some friends tried to form a band, even though no one actually played an instrument. She took a couple of lessons from the aforementioned frienda€™s father who was going to teach her friends to play their instruments.
Using an acoustic guitar, shea€™d get together with a friend back home to play and write songs. Her first stop was the open mic at The Kendall Cafe in Cambridge (now closed), just to a€?check it out.a€? She saw people who were very advanced and some raw beginners.
However, a€?They had grit to them.a€? Although she cringes when she looks back on her early writing, she still feels that the songs werena€™t all that bad considering her level of development.
She was a fan of the late Janis Joplin and would belt her songs out, Janis-style,without giving thought to vocal dynamics or microphone control. Additionally, she studied the Stefan Grossman transcriptions (written and audio) of the guitar of Mississippi John Hurt. Shea€™s been told, a€?If youa€™re not doing it exactly the way they did it, youa€™re not doing it.a€? For Danielle, ita€™s all about enjoying it and getting into the a€?feela€? of it [we agree]. Although shea€™d seen performers like Chris Smither use this sort of device, she never intended to copy it. She later got an Ovation, then a Guild and then found her first love in a Gibson [lots of blues in those Gibsons].


Thata€™s about when we made her acquaintance (as well as taking note of her impact at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference).
She uses a nimble Mississippi John Hurt-style fingerpicking pattern for this philosophical gem. Tongue-in-cheek, she asks for a drum machine, and, in a reference to Robert Johnson, Tell me where the roads cross, Ia€™m ready to sell my soul. Ita€™s a plus that finding out how good a writer she is now reinforces our first impression of a highly energetic blues artist.
Choosing this career path is completely crazy because the odds of succeeding are so low, but most succeed.
During the more difficult times, inspiration can be drawn from quotes, which are very uplifting and have positive effects. The images and messages posted on these sites are a raw look into the thoughts and struggles of many thousands of depressed individuals.
But despite this she went on to sing and dance professionally in San Francisco clubs and proved a popular entertainer. Both assassinations hit Angelou hard and she was left devastated with a burning desire to make a change. Her scrip for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia was the first script to be filmed and by an African American and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. And you should always be the cause and not the effect of a change you want to see happening. Danielle had a Casio keyboard; a frienda€™s father played guitar, so it was assumed that hea€™d show others in the group how to play their instruments.
There were writing courses of every kind, including journalism, childrena€™s writing and poetry.
She figured, a€?OK, I can fit into this mixa€¦ I can pull this off.a€? She signed up to play the following week and found that others were very polite, offering encouragement. It wasna€™t until she got to the open mic of blues master Geoff Bartley at the Cantab Lounge that her mistakes were pointed out.
The practice really evolved from using a foot stomp on stage to keep rhythm and provide percussion. It actually took another year for her to digest and learn what Geoff had taught her.A  a€?It was like I got all the food and then I processed it,a€? she told me. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness ther’re going through.
Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. Freeman was jailed for one day as a result of Angelou speaking out to her brother about the abuse. Bertha introduced Angelou to many prestigious artists and authors such Shakespeare, Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. She credits two older boys, her upstairs neighbors, in helping to add to her musical knowledge. She went back again and again and found a€?a whole new crew of friends.a€? They were a€?on the same wavelength,a€? she said.
On a gig where she needed to use a box for added height, she found herself rhythmically tapping on the box and liking the sound. Although she told me that her husband Tom hosts it now, shea€™s still listed as the host on The Burren website. Danielle developed a a€?roguea€? mixture of what Geoff taught her and the Grossman transcriptions. Danielle and another friend, Brenda, who Danielle said, a€?has a twisted sense of humor,a€? would write songs with ridiculous lyrics. For Danielle, they included John Irving (for his humor as well as his dramatic flair), Tim Oa€™Brien (Vietnam War novelist, not the bluegrass performer), satirist David Sedaris and Lorrie Moore (a€?humorous and poignant short storiesa€? a€” Wikipedia). There was an epiphany of sorts in that they both realized life is too short to waste on doing things you have no love for.
Later, she asked a friend to follow her design to make a hollow device like a footrest that she could attach to her stool. Also, she mentioned that it seemed less desperate than standing when playing in a noisy bar. For Danielle, they includedA  John Irving (for his humor as well as his dramatic flair), Tim Oa€™Brien (Vietnam War novelist, not the bluegrass performer), satirist David Sedaris and Lorrie Moore (a€?humorous and poignant short storiesa€? a€” Wikipedia).
She finds it fundamentally impossible to repeat someone elsea€™s stylings note-for-note a€” shea€™ll develop her own version instead. She doesn't know either.Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. However the world views her as a blues singer, shea€™s well-prepared for original songwriting.
Danielle also studied from an instructional DVD of Mississippi John Hurta€™s guitar style by Happy Traum and John Sebastian that combined video and tablature transcription.
When she returned home, Danielle began attending open mics, kick-starting what would become her career. I would be putting together help desk manuals, and then Ia€™d write a song about how miserable I was. The male of the species got off easy this time, but that doesna€™t mean she hasna€™t been watching.
Then Ia€™d tell someone to re-boot their computer, which is usually the solution to every problem.
She tinkered around with some acoustic fingerstyle guitar while in high school, copying selected songs by Randy Rhodes and the band, Heart. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore.And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.



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