Maya Angelou
Lecture Date: 5-21-1990
Click the link below to listen ot his celebrity's lecture:
Interview: Introductions for poet and writer Maya Angelou are made by Dean John Eadie of Michigan State University and poet Diane Wakoski, who details the wide array of Angelou's accomplishments. Angelou begins her lecture topic, poetry, with a poem. To discuss poetry is to reflect on love and the human condition. Angelou stresses the importance of becoming familiar with the African American poets and writers who are influential individuals in America's literary field. She reads from the poetry of significant African American poets, including her own. The subjects of her works include women, working, and humor. Angelou takes questions from the audience, many of them related to her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970). She discusses the condition of African Americans in America today. The author narrates stories about her childhood and background, and she relates a story about when she was a singer and dancer for the musical Porgy and Bess (1945-1955). Her stories illustrates that literature belongs to everyone, across cultures, and across the years.
Biography: Renaissance woman Maya Angelou is a poet, author, playwright, professional stage and screen producer, director, and performer. One of her best known written works is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), a humorous autobiography set in segregated Arkansas. Angelo’s off-Broadway appearances include Jean Genet’s The Blacks and Calypso Heat Wave (1957). In 1981 she was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Angelo is also known for her recitation of her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at the 1993 presidential inauguration of President Clinton.