Maya Angelou Sent Me an Email

As Care2 Causes Managing Editor, I try to guide our delivery of information, not deliver the mail (even about the election.) But this arrived in my email box this morning and I knew you would want to read it.

Dear fellow American,

I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country — as an American.

It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.

But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful — don’t underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.

Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor.

As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.

My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” When they couldn’t answer, they couldn’t vote.

I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time — I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.

I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.

And since President Barack Obama’s historic election, we’ve moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.

Yet as Rev. King wrote, “All progress is precarious.”

So don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t hesitate. Don’t have any regrets. Vote.

Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard:

Your vote is not only important. It’s imperative.

Thank you,

Dr. Maya Angelou



Photo: White House

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Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Very interesting, thanks!

Pamela C.
Pamela C.3 years ago

I am disgusted with the nasty and negative comments about this letter; I refuse to be drawn down by trash. Ms. Angelou's sentiments are, as usual, inspiring.

Ernest Roth
Ernest R.3 years ago

@ Jane R. "go back to having the majority of votes decide the winner". Go back where? The US was originally set up as a republic, not a democracy. Therefore the electoral college to ensure that there would be no tyranny of the majority over a minority, which is a danger with strict majority rules vote. Check your Constitution.

Vicky P.
Vicky P.3 years ago


Jade H.
J h.3 years ago

For those of you who felt the need to be negative about this post, I truly feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for my country - which has gotten into such a ugly and nasty mindset about each other. Sad to say, the coming "energy shifts" will not all occur on 12-21-12. They have already started, of course, and will continue through the next few years as our beloved Mother Earth goes through her OWN cycle of change. I can only hope that some of those changes wash over we humans in the process - and we can come out the other side of it more loving and respectful of each other, as well as all of God's creatures living on this little blue/green ball with us (instead of in spite of us, as they have to live now!). Thanks for all the positive posts here - you know who you are, and I'm thrilled to be associated with you.

Rin S.
Rin S.3 years ago

Maya Angelou is such an inspiration

natalie n.
natalie n.3 years ago

everyone should exercise their right to vote. yes every vote counts, never think yours does not matter.

Jane R.
Jane R.3 years ago

This country needs to go back to having the majority of votes decide the winner. Not electorial votes!

Mel U.
Mel U.3 years ago

Your vote is an illusion of democracy. Republicans and Democrats serve the same corrupt agenda. If you feel you must vote spoil your ballot and let them know that you will no longer play the game.

Pushparani Weerasinghe

Whom are you trying to fool.