Vol. 9    No. 11
MAY 29, 2014

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran, Theola
Carter, Fabu, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Donna Parker, Heidi Pascual, &
Lisa Peyton-Caire

Heidi M. Pascual
Stories & Columns

Jessi Evans Kendall Is the UW DCS
Student of the Year:
If You Don’t Succeed ...
By Jonathan Gramling

Simple Things: Immersion,
By Lang Kenneth Haynes

Asian Wisconzine:
Celebrating Asian Heritage Month,
By  Jian Ping

The Community Scholar Graduates
at Edgewood College:
Dreams Fulfilled,
By Jonathan Gramling

Retiring Edgewood College
President Dr. Daniel Carey:
Poised for the Future,
By Jonathan Gramling

100 Black Men of Madison's
Outstanding Educators& Mentors
Appreciation Breakfast

A Guest Column by Dr. John Y.
Odom: The ‘Gradual’ in Graduation

UW PEOPL:E Program Spring and
Summer Graduation Celebration:
Campus-wide Impact,
By Jonathan Gramling

Art of Life: Sometimes God Says
By Donna Parker

Poetic Tongues A Tribute to
“Ms. Maya",
By Fabu

Poetry: Milestones,
By Althea René

Graduation at Madison College:
Perseverance Pays Off,
By Jonathan Gramling

AVID/TOPS Graduation Celebration
at Gordon Commons:
Our Future Is Bright,
By Jonathan Gramling

Dr. Jennifer Cheatham Reflects on
Her First Academic Year:
Laying the Foundation (Part 1),
By Jonathan Gramling

African Association of Madison
Graduation Celebration:
Deconstructing Graduation,
By Jonathan Gramling

UW Academic Advancement
Program Graduation Celebration:
Time for Reflection,
By Jonathan Gramling

Rainbows: A graduation speech,
By Iaong Lee

UW Odyssey Project 2014
Graduation Celebration: Life
By Jonathan Gramling

Eighth Annual All-City American
Indian & Alaska Native Graduation:
Our Future as Native People,
By Jonathan Gramling

2014 Women in Focus I Have a
Dream Scholarship Reception:
Listen to Your Elders,
By Akprnega Akyea

UW Division of Continuing Studies
Celebration of Outstanding Adult
Students: A Night of Special
By Jonathan Gramling

*Service Behind the Scenes
*Distinguished Teacher for 2014
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                    Maya Angelou
I, like so many others across the nation, was deeply saddened by the passing of Maya Angelou, our forever
national poet laureate. Somehow it seemed that she would live forever because she was always so
intellectually and humanely vital her whole life. And she will live on forever in our libraries and classrooms
and in our imaginations. Her words and wisdom have been like a pebble that has been thrown into a pond
and the ripples it creates washes upon the opposite shores of the pond. It’s incredible how many lives she

I first “met” Maya Angelou in the early 1970s through a UW Afro-American Studies Department literature
course taught by Dr. Findley Campbell. I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and was immediately
taken by it, the triumph over the horrific. It is a sign of Maya Angelou’s greatness that she could become
this sweet and loving human being after experiencing so many horrible things during her childhood and
young adulthood.

I hope this book is read by every Madison high school student through some literature course that they are
required to take, especially African American students, so that they can gain insight into the horror that
some of them may experience and to know that there is hope and possibilities for their lives.

And the poem that resonates for me during times of difficulty is “Still I Rise.” In spite of everything that has
happened, in spite of the beat downs that one experiences, in spite of the exhaustion that one might feel,
“And Still I Rise.” What a statement of determination and hope. And still we all rise. While I never met Maya
Angelou in person, I still feel a special connection with her.

Back in October 2001, Maya Angelou spoke at the Madison TEMPO 20th anniversary celebration at Monona
Terrace. Frances Huntley-Cooper was president of TEMPO at the time and she made sure that the Black
press would be able to cover the event. There was a pre-event reception in one of the smaller rooms at
Monona Terrace for Maya and I was able to slip in and take a few photos, one of which was Frances giving
Maya a hug. I then went on to take photos of Maya as she gave her wonderful keynote speech.

When I first heard about the event, I put in my request to conduct an interview with Maya. I was the editor of
The Madison Times at the time. I was assured that my request had been forwarded to her people and a copy
of the paper was placed in the materials that TEMPO gave to Maya.

I waited and waited and waited to hear back and then the event came and went. I was dejected, especially
when I heard that someone met Maya in the hotel bar at The Edgewater after the TEMPO event and had a
wonderful conversation. How cool was that? “And why couldn’t that have been me,” I kept wondering.

A couple of days later, I got a phone call and it was Maya’s publicist. She asked, ‘Do you still want to
interview Maya Angelou?” I was just about speechless, but did manage to say yes.

Well, she gave me a telephone number that I was to call at 1 p.m. in two days. The only thing that I can think
of is that as Maya was riding her bus out of town — she didn’t fly — she must have read a copy of the paper
and considered the interview request. How cool was that?

So two days later, in the quiet of my home office, I called the phone number precisely at 1 p.m., not a minute
sooner or a minute later. I think I checked a bunch of times to make sure that my clock was keeping the
right time.

After several rings — which seemed to take forever and I’m thinking I got the phone number or the time
wrong — Maya Angelou answered the phone. She was in a hotel room in New York City.

I started talking and asked my first question and I’m thinking this is probably such a stupid question and I’m
sure that my voice was trembling. And Maya responded, “Just relax. This is just an interview.” She talked
me down out of my nervousness, reminding me, in essence, that she was just another everyday human
being. She was so gracious and then we had a nice 15-minute conversation that I taped and am now kicking
myself for never having saved the tape.

So I wrote my article based on my interview with her and published it. And I went around saying to people
for sometime after that, “For 20-minutes, Maya Angelou knew my name.” I’m sure it was forgotten soon after
our interview — she could hardly remember the names of the thousands upon thousands of people whom
she encountered. But for a few brief moments in time, Maya Angelou remembered my name.

So that is my connection to this great American poet and artist who directly or indirectly touched so many
lives and will live on forever within the fabric of America’s history and culture. Thank you Maya for touching
all of us!
Portal to the World
UW Grad Kweku Brewoo Looks for an
International Role