The New York Public Library opened an exhibit featuring
letters between Angelou and civil rights activist Malcolm X, the
handwritten manuscript to her groundbreaking memoir "I Know Why
the Caged Bird Sings" and school assignments dating back to
"We're hoping that by looking at this, people will see a broader
scope of her hopes of her accomplishments but also her concerns
and her interests," said Mary Yearwood, a curator at the
library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Also on Friday, Major League Baseball will show a video
featuring Angelou as part of its planned Civil Rights Game
festivities in Houston, league spokesman Steven Arocho said. The
video, filmed last week at her home, shows Angelou accepting one
of MLB's Beacon Awards, given to people whose actions have been
emblematic of the civil rights movement.
Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on
April 4, 1928. During a traumatic childhood, she was rendered
mute for six years. At a young age, she began the autobiography
that chronicled the first 17 years of her life and covered the
racism she faced in the 1930s and '40s. The book, "I Know Why
The Caged Bird Sings," was ultimately published in 1969.
She changed her name to Maya Angelou while working as a singer
and dancer. She also worked as an actor, with credits that
included a role in the ground-breaking television mini-series
"Roots" and she wrote the script and score for the movie
"Georgia, Georgia." She was a Grammy winner for three
In 1993, she read her poem, "On the Pulse Of Morning," at the
inauguration of former President Bill Clinton, who called it
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Angelou, who never went to college, collected more than 30 honorary
Friday's events honoring Angelou's eclectic life followed a public
memorial service held at the Mount Zion Baptist church in Winston
Salem, North Carolina, where she was a longtime member.
Angelou's grandson, Collin Johnson, spoke at the service.
"She had a way. How do you describe someone in one word?" Johnson
told the church gathering which was monitored a local TV feed. "How
do you tell them how she made you feel because she made you feel
On Friday, the family of the author, known for her lyrical prose and
regal speaking voice, was still arranging details of her funeral
service. Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where Angelou had
worked for three decades, was still developing its plan to honor
her, said spokeswoman Katie Neal.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; editing by Daniel Grebler and David
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