Poet, civil rights activist and honorary professor Maya Angelou left this world on May 28 at the age of 86, but through the power and influence of her words, she will always be with those who she inspired. In a private memorial service taking place on Saturday in North Carolina, Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton will be amongst the speakers honoring Angelou.
As one of today's most impactful literary voices, Angelou, through the voice of her soul, many, which is why so many influential leaders in the worlds of politics, entertainment and literature are coming together to honor her life, legacy and dreams. Michelle Obama got to spend time with Angelou after she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. The time spent was one she and the president said they have cherished, the same feeling most of her readers are left with after they have read her words or listened to one of her famous spoken-word albums.
Bill Clinton selected the Grammy Award-winning spoken-word artist to write a poem and read it at his first presidential inauguration in 1993. The poem titled "On the Pulse of Morning" was a poem written as a symbol of a new beginning and awakening as a look back at history as it shifts to the present. The effectiveness of her words are something that has earned her the title of "mentor" from most, if not all, who will be honoring her.
Besides the first lady and former President Clinton, Angelou will be honored by Oprah Winfrey, actress Cicely Tyson and singers Lee Ann Womack and BeBe Winans will perform in a service and dedication to a woman who has written over 30 books of fiction and poetry as well as the well-known autobiography of her life, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." The service will be streamed at www.Oprah.com/MayaAngelou.