The "Phenomenal Woman" That Touched So Many People: Maya Angelou

The "Phenomenal Woman" That Touched So Many People: Maya Angelou

12:56am Jun 08, 2014
Maya Angelou's first book 'I know Why the Caged Bird Sings' was published in 1970. She went on to write 36 books, including biographies, poetry and essays.
Wake Forest University

Dr. Maya Angelou was laid to rest over the weekend. Her family held a private memorial service at Wake Forest University on Saturday. More than 2,000 people attended the ceremony at Wait Chapel to remember and celebrate the life of a “phenomenal woman” who touched so many people.

Wake Forest Provost Emeritus Edwin Wilson says Angelou brought unique grandeur to her 32 years at the university, where she was a Reynolds professor of American studies. He said she always would take time out for her students and the university. He told her admirers that she will always be a part of the history and fabric of Wake Forest University, dazzlingly and forever.

“We were grateful that on the day she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama she proudly said to a Washington office that I’m a Wake Forest woman. Then she said you can’t beat that,” said Wilson.

Angelou, a renowned poet and author died May 28 at age 86. Local residents like Naomi Jones and Nell Britton say Dr. Angelou’s literary works will continue to inspire generations to come.

“I just think she is a phenomenal women like they say and she was very precious to all of us, said Jones. “She was a very inspiring person. I myself am a poet and she has given me a lot of courage for me to go out and do my work,” Britton added.

Dr. Angelou also had a big impact on the Winston-Salem community. Through the years, she was involved with several projects and events, including the National Black Theater Festival. Lee Faye Mack got to know Angelou through Mac’s work at the Carter G. Woodson School.

“I’m the mother of six children. I have a lawyer, a doctor, a school principal of a school and a bishop, so God gave me a little bit of everything. But it was people like her that helped me to take nothing and make something. I know her through her goodness and mercy,” said Mack.

Although Saturday's private service is the only official event commemorating Angelou at Wake Forest, the university says more events celebrating her life are planned across the country.

"I've learned that people will never forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  - Dr. Maya Angelou

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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