Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou60 posts
Feb 2015

Postage stamp


The U.S. Postal Service recognizes Angelou with her own Forever Stamp. A first-day-of-issuance ceremony is announced for a later date. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan:

Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word. Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture.

6 Dec, 2013

His Day is Done

Anglou writes a poem in tribute to Nelson Mandela, commissioned by the U.S. State Department, on behalf of the American People. A video of Angelou reciting the poem is released by the United States State Department. Additional videos of the recitation are produced by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Information with subtitles in seventeen different languages.

His Day is Done - A Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela by Dr. Maya Angelou

16 Jan, 2011



Angelou sits down and teaches about love, life and how to be great on Oprah Winfrey’s Masterclass series.

If a human being dreams a great dream, dares to love somebody; if a human being dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Malcolm X; if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born—it means so can you.

Dr. Maya Angelou: "Be a Rainbow in Someone Else's Cloud" - Oprah's Master Class - OWN

1 Aug, 2007

Poetry for Young People

poems for young peoplePublished by Sterling, this book contains twenty-five poems for children, written by Angelou and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. Angelou reveals what inspired her to write “Harlem Hopscotch”, one of the poems in the book:

Years ago I saw some children jumping hopscotch in Harlem. And then later, I was in Stockholm taking a course in cinematography, and I saw some Swedish children skipping hopscotch—I think it’s called “hoppa hage” there. And I thought, “Hmmm, those kids at home, they have a little more rhythm and they think different thoughts.” So I went back to watch the children in Harlem to get their rhythm, and then I began to write this poem.

11 Apr, 2006

Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me

mother a cradlePublished by Random House in a 32 page, hard cover volume, this poem is written not only to Angelou’s mother, but to all mothers and fathers everywhere.

I think of myself as mother. I think of men as mother — some men. My son has mothered his son, fathered his son. I don’t think you have to be a woman to mother.

Dec 2005

Amazing Peace

amazing peaceInitially written for – and read by Angelou at –  the lighting of the National Christmas Tree ceremony at the White House, the poem is subsequently published by Random House.

Maya Angelou - White House Christmas 2005 - Music by Charlie Barnett

23 Feb, 2003

Wins Grammy


Angelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for A Song Flung Up To Heaven.

1 Dec, 2000

O Magazine interview


Angelou talks about the impact of her book, Caged Bird:

Because of the rape. And yet I just read someplace that after a woman had read Caged Bird, she realized she wasn’t alone. I think in some cases Caged Bird has saved some lives—not just the quality of life, which is very important, but life itself. I get letters from young women and men, and I am able to say to them, “You can survive rape. You never forget it—don’t even think that. But you can survive it and go on.

28 Feb, 1996

Wins Grammy


imagesAngelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album for Phenomenal Woman.

1 Mar, 1994

Wins Grammy


Angelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album for On The Pulse Of Morning. 


Calypso Heat Wave

Film Appearance

Produced by Sam Katzman and directed by Fred Sears, this musical film stars Angelou’s performing the song Run Joe. Angelou is 29 years old at the time, and is hired for the film due to her experience on stage as both an actress and singer.

Introducing Miss Calypso! | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Nov 1956

Miss Calypso

angelo_maya_misscalypso recordRecorded by Scamp Records in November, 1956 and released in 1957, this is Angelou’s first and only music album.

I was asked to make the album, I was invited, and then I was told I had to write some of the songs, and if I didn’t I couldn’t make the album. So I wrote, I think six of them….I wrote the songs and sang them and did the whole album in a week. I love calypso the way I love blues and country-western music because with calypso the lyrics tell stories. They are not just about “I love you baby” and “let’s make love”…something rawer than that. So the calypsos, each one, tell a story, and such a human story. So that’s what drew me to it.

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