Maya Angelou was one of the world’s most important writers and activists.
She lived and chronicled an extraordinary life. Rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights’ activist – working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King – and memoirist.
She wrote and performed a poem, ‘On the Pulse of Morning’, for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than 70 universities throughout the world.
She wrote seven volumes of autobiography beginning with the extraordinary I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which told of her childhood in 1930s Stamps, Arkansas, the segregated southern US town where her grandmother ran the general store; and of the trauma of rape and the healing power of literature and love.
Maya Angelou was an indomitable force, famed for her spirit and style, courage and laughter. She died on 28 May aged 86. This special evening of song, biography, poetry and testimony, dedicated to her memory, is chaired by Jon Snow and Moira Stuart and directed by Paulette Randall.