“We’ve all known it was coming, the death of Maya Angelou. But when you hear it for the first time, it really does sort of hit you in the stomach,” “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King told viewers when the news of her good friend’s passing broke earlier today. She died in her sleep early this morning at age 86. What Gayle said is very true. Last night I was reading a story about her cancelling an appearance to receive the “Beacon of Life Award” at the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon. I knew then she didn’t have much time left here with us. Perhaps this is why I wasn’t bawling uncontrollably when my sister called me to break the news. Or, maybe it’s because at 86 years old, we all can say that Dr. Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, truly lived a full life, her life. She’s done everything: motherhood, activist, singer, dancer, playwright, poet, author, journalist, professor, besties with some of history’s biggest icons including Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., honored by U.S. Presidents and other world leaders–you name it and she’s done it! She’s seemingly lived without any regrets and I admire that. That’s why I was very grateful when I’d been graced with the wonderful opportunity to visit with Dr. Maya at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. in September 2013. There she, poet Nikki Giovanni and I had lunch, discussing their friendship with Toni Morrison, the state of black women, whether we live in a post-racial society and Angelou’s contributions to the civil rights movement. The piece was for Essence magazine and it truly is a highlight of my professional career. And, again, like Gayle, “I’m really grateful that I got to spend any time at all with her.”
Dr. Maya’s made an indelible impact in literary and entertainment industries. I’ve selected a few videos that XFINITY has available online to help celebrate Dr. Maya’s legacy. Also, be sure to check out our Maya Angelou Collection that features her TV and film appearances as well as clips we have from her appearance on OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday,” where she talked with her good friend and “daughter” Oprah Winfrey.
“CBS This Morning’s” Gayle King on Dr. Maya’s legacy
This “Iconoclasts” episode features comedian Dave Chappelle and Dr. Maya hang out at her Winston-Salem home, where they discuss poetry and comedy
Maya Angelou and Natalie Cole guest star in this 1995 “Touched by an Angel” episode
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.