Tag: Dr. Maya Angelou

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Announces a Month-Long Celebration Honoring Civil Rights Legends

Oprah Winfrey and

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network recently announced a month-long celebration in January honoring civil rights legends who paved the way as we approach the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The network will air the star-studded television event Oprah Winfrey Presents: Legends Who Paved The Way (Sunday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) where Oprah Winfrey hosts a gala of events honoring some of the legendary men and extraordinary women of the civil rights movement, the arts and entertainment who made history and redefined what was possible for us all. Honorees include Ambassador Andrew Young, Berry Gordy, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, Dick Gregory, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Juanita Jones Abernathy, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

On January 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Oprah sits down for a special episode of her popular series Oprah Prime celebrating the life of Dr. King and the Selma marches 50 years later. The episode features an in-depth conversation with the star of the upcoming film Selma, acclaimed actor David Oyelowo who portrays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with the film’s award-winning director Ava DuVernay. The episode will also feature stories of those who were impacted by the march and their reflections today on that time in American history.

The month of special programming begins on New Year’s Day as NBC News correspondent Tamron Hall hosts Race on The Oprah Winfrey Show with Tamron Hall (Thursday, January 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) which highlights those trailblazing Oprah show episodes that elicited shocking audience responses and sparked opportunities for growth towards greater connection, empathy and healing.

Other special programming airing throughout the month include special episodes of Oprah: Where Are They Now? (Thursday, January 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) which spotlights memorable civil rights newsmakers and Oprah’s Master Class (Sunday, January 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) featuring powerful firsthand accounts from iconic “masters” such as Berry Gordy, Cicely Tyson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and many more.

In addition, the world television premiere of the OWN original documentary Light Girls will air on Monday, January 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT featuring an in-depth look into colorism and the untold stories of lighter-skinned women around the globe. The documentary features interviews with notable celebrities including Russell Simmons, Soledad O’Brien, Diahann Carroll, india.arie, Iyanla Vanzant, Michaela Angela Davis, Kym Whitley, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and more.

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Maya Angelou Accepts Mailer Center Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Maya Angelou poses for photographs during the fifth annual Norman Mailer Center benefit gala at the New York Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Maya Angelou poses for photographs during the fifth annual Norman Mailer Center benefit gala at the New York Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Her body weak, her voice rich and strong, Maya Angelou sang, lectured and reminisced as she accepted a lifetime achievement award Thursday night from the Norman Mailer Center.  The 85-year-old author, poet, dancer and actress was honored during a benefit gala at the New York Public Library, the annual gathering organized by the Mailer Center and writers colony . Seated in a wheelchair, she was a vivid presence in dark glasses and a sparkling black dress as she marveled that a girl from a segregated Arkansas village could grow up to become a literary star.

“Imagine it,” she said, “a town so prejudiced black people couldn’t even eat vanilla ice cream.” Angelou was introduced by her former editor at Random House, Robert Loomis, and she praised him for talking her into writing her breakthrough memoir, the million-selling I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The key was suggesting to her that the book might be too hard to write.

The people who knew her best, she explained, understood that “if you want to get Maya Angelou to do so something, tell her she can’t.”  Angelou, a longtime resident of North Carolina, will be back in Manhattan next month to collect an honorary National Book Award medal.

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Maya Angelou Honors Mom, Grandmother in New Book

Dr. Maya Angelou poses at the the Special Recognition Event for Dr. Maya Angelou � The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait at Dr. Angelou's home June 21, 2010 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Ken Charnock/Getty Images)

Dr. Maya Angelou (Photo by Ken Charnock/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Writer, actor, dancer. Activist, teacher, composer. In the melange of Maya Angelou’s 85 years is also daughter, of two women who deserved one with a good memory.  So Angelou writes in her latest literary memoir, “Mom & Me & Mom,” a sweet ode to “Lady,” her mother Vivian Baxter, and “Momma,” her paternal grandmother Annie Henderson, who took her in at age 3 in tiny, segregated Stamps, Ark., and returned her at age 13, when the time was right.

Baxter, rough-and-tumble poor from St. Louis, and Henderson, refined believer in southern etiquette, are both long gone but figure big in Angelou’s legendary life.  The fierce and fun Vivian was Angelou’s abandoner and, later, her most loyal protector. She and Annie are familiar to admirers of the poet and spinner of autobiographical fiction. It’s Angelou’s eighth book to unravel her often painful and tumultuous life, including the 1969 National Book Award winner “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” chronicling her rape as a girl that left her mute for five years.

Angelou lost her beloved older brother Bailey in 2000, after his slide into drugs, and her mother in 1991, at age 79 or 85, depending on who’s doing the counting, joked Angelou in a recent telephone interview from her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she has lived part-time for more than 30 years while on the faculty of Wake Forest University.  Her son, Guy, whom she had at age 17, remains with us, enduring years on crutches after numerous surgeries for spinal injuries he suffered in an auto accident.

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Essence Magazine Commemorates Michelle Obama’s Life in New Book

'A Tribute to Michelle Obama'

‘A Salute to Michelle Obama.’ (Image: Essence Magazine)
The editors at Essence magazine have been hard at work this fall on a new tome celebrating first lady Michelle Obama’s life and achievements. A Salute to Michelle Obamaavailable now in paperback, features an array of images of the first lady punctuated with essays penned by legendary black women. Yet, what makes it special are quotes from African-American female fans of Mrs. Obama interwoven through this compendium of her accomplishments.

“We reached out to women and asked, ‘What do you believe has been the impact of Michelle Obama?’” Patrik Henry Bass, Senior Editor at Essence, told theGrio. He was inundated with streams of enthusiastic praise in response from the Essence audience.  “I was surprised, in a delightful way,” he said of women’s reactions.

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