A very Happy Birthday to the great poetry legend, Dr. Maya Angelou!
On April 4, Google launched a video Doodle to commemorate the author, poet, memoirist, and activist Dr. Angelou’s 90th birthday. The Doodle audio plays her poem “Still I Rise” and the art highlights the power of her words as well as parts of her personal journey. Along with Angelou’s own voice, the Doodle audio also includes several other impactful women who aspire to live out her legacy.
The group of incredible women includes media maven Oprah, who considered Angelou a mentor and one of her closest friends.
“Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it’s how she did it all,” Winfrey explained. “She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence, and a fiery, fierce grace and abounding love.”
Among the others represented sharing her words are singer and songwriter Alicia Keys, actress and director America Ferrera, singer and songwriter Martina McBride, actress and advocate Laverne Cox, and writer and only Dr. Angelou’s only son, Guy Johnson.
“Dr. Angelou’s work is filled with such incredible wisdom and spiritual teachings,” Cox said. “It feels like the ultimate privilege to have the opportunity to speak her words. She is a national treasure we should always celebrate.”
Her works such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings set a precedent for how Black women could talk about their unique experience in the context of womanhood and race. It also helped increase Black feminism writings in the ’70s. While Angelou passed away on May 4, 2014, her spirit lives on through her works and influence on so many young Black writers who have been touched and inspired by her vulnerable work. Today and always, we lift up her tranquil soul, work and impact on the world in honor of her birthday.