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OPINION: Black Life Disrupted

by Dr. LaShawnDa Pittman, Erin Lee, Gia Nguyen, Briannah Reed, and Tiana Smith


In “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now,” the late poet, writer, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou wrote that “African Americans as slaves could not even claim to have won the names given to them in haste and without a care, but they pridefully possessed a quality which modified the barbarism of their lives.”

Angelou continued, “They employed formally familial terms when addressing each other. … in the slave society, Mariah became Aunt Mariah and Joe became Uncle Joe. Young girls were called Sister, Sis, or Tutta. Boys became Brother, Bubba, Bro and Buddy.” 

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