A private memorial service will be held this Saturday, June 7, at Wake Forest University for late poet and literary icon Dr. Maya Angelou, and while it’s hard to imagine who could deliver words to do her rich life justice, according to reports, her good friend Oprah Winfrey is one of the people who will do the honors.
MUST WATCH: Stream Maya Angelou’s Memorial Service
Angelou died last Wednesday , May 28, at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Oprah has been remembering her ever since. “I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20’s,” Winfrey wrote in a Facebook post the day Angelou died. “She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her.”
What will the media mogul say at the services to remember her phenomenal friend? “I don’t know what I will say, but it will just come,” Oprah told Entertainment Tonight in an interview where she also recalled the last conversation they had. During that last conversation, Winfrey says that the late poet was proud of her role in the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, “Selma.” “She said, ‘Take it, baby. Take it all the way,’ because said was a part of the movement,” Oprah said, nodding to Angelou’s Civil Rights activism.
In addition to Oprah, First Lady Michelle Obama will reportedly speak at the memorial services which is being called “a celebration of rising ‘joy’.” Angelou’s family plans on having more activities in her honor in other states across the country that her son Guy B. Johnson, will release more information about in the days to come. Due to limited seating capacity at Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel, the family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only, but the service will be live streamed at go.wfu.edu/angeloumemorial.
Maya Angelou: Her Beauty, In Her Words
1. Maya Angelou
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
2. Maya Angelou
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
3. Maya Angelou
"A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim."
4. Maya Angelou
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.”
5. Maya Angelou
"Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room."
6. Maya Angelou
"Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?"
7. Maya Angelou
"I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being."
8. Maya Angelou
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
9. Maya Angelou
"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
10. Maya Angelou
"We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike."
11. Maya Angelou
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
12. Maya Angelou
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
13. Maya Angelou
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."
14. Maya Angelou
"If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love."
15. Maya Angelou
"I'm a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman. That's me."
16. Maya Angelou
"The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you're wrinkled."
17. Maya Angelou
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
18. Maya Angelou
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”