Before her death last spring at the age of 86, author and poet Maya Angelou was working on a new project — one that puts her words to music. An album was recently released, giving listeners a taste of an unusual collaboration that crosses generations.
In a music video called “Harlem Hopscotch,” inspired by a poem Angelou wrote in 1969, dancers on a Los Angeles rooftop move to a hip-hop beat laced with Angelou’s poetry. The song is about encouraging everyone, especially young people to persevere through life despite any obstacles! The game of hopscotch is symbolic of the difficulties of life and the obstacles that some face, whether they be wealthy or poor.
“One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for his-self.
In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.
All the peoples out of work,
Hold for three, now twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost, I think I won.”