“I believe that words are things, and I live on them.” ~ Maya Angelou
It is extremely difficult to narrow down the impact of a world-class artist like Maya Angelou, evident in the fact her Twitter hashtag #MayaAngelou is going strong already and will predictably break some records. (When your death is powerful enough to make hip hop heads like Wiz Khalifa “drop their joints” and tweet, you know know you did something right.) So we won’t even try to encapsulate her life in a mere blog post, but we did find some cool clips that public media stations and programs have been sharing and decided to make you a list.
Because why? We loves you. Also we recommend a browse of these IMDB links that showcase an impressive breadth of Ms. Angelou being featured in many documentaries, most of them from public media programs/outlets.
Maya Moment #5: “Today the Rock Cries Out to Us, Clearly, Forcefully” (PBS NewsHour)
PBS NewsHour does a good job here showcasing some important moments from Angelou’s climax years. Key among them of course that frigid inauguration morning when Bill Clinton (the artist formerly known as our “first Black President”) selected Angelou to deliver a poem that would become a best-seller.
Maya Moment #4: “Human Beings at Our Strongest and at Our Best, Are Teachers” (WTTW, Chicago)
This clip is short and sweet, just like you like it. The year was 1989, the occasion was the Golden Apple Awards show, and the brooch was to die for!
Maya Moment #3: “The Bottle is Nothing, but the Content is Poison” (Iconoclasts)
OK, technically not a public media featured moment but who dares resist Ms. Angelou and comedian Dave Chappelle in the same clip?! Nobody, that’s who. (Well, maybe Donald Sterling because…Magic Johnson? Idk, we’re still unclear about his reasoning.)
Maya Moment #2: “Dizzie Always Told Me, Play Your Own Thing” (Live From Lincoln Center, PBS.org)
Bet you didn’t know Angelou’s many credits included “singer!” Here she does what she does best, she collaborates with Jazz great Wynton Marsalis to educate us all, dropping gems like “to save your soul, you dance, just as you sing.”
Maya Moment #1: “Easy Reading, Is Damn Hard Writing” (To the Contrary, PBS.org)
Before Bey (that’s Beyonce or Mrs. Carter to us oldies), Ms. Angelou was already exploring and defining womanhood in innovative and mind-blowing ways. Finally, here she drops some knowledge via PBS’ all-female culture review program “To the Contrary.”