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.
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.
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.
Angelou writes a poem in memory of Michael Jackson, and asks Queen Latifah to read the poem at Jackson’s funeral.
Published 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.
Published 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.
Published by Random House, this collection of poems includes poetry written for relatives, as well as poems composed to mark specific public events.
Initially 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.
Angelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for A Song Flung Up To Heaven.
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.
Angelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album for Phenomenal Woman.
Angelou gives an interview on The Arsenio Hall Show. They talk about her friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. and her fight for injustice.
I kept wondering but why me I’m a nice person. Why do people get up when I sit down on buses or streetcars or something.
Angelou wins the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album for On The Pulse Of Morning.
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.
Recorded 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.