Maya Angelou

Celebrated author and Medal of Freedom winner Maya Angelou to speak at University of Redlands

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(March 8, 2011) The University of Redlands will present “An Evening with Dr. Maya Angelou” on Wednesday, March 23. The famed author, poet, educator and activist will be speaking at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel. The event is being sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR) Convocations and Lectures Series, the Race and Ethnic Studies Department and Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion.

This will be Angelou’s fourth appearance at Redlands, and the University is honored to be hosting Angelou after she recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor— from President Barack Obama in February.

A limited number of tickets are available to the public. They can be purchased for $10 per ticket at the University’s Campus Events office or by calling (909) 748-8116 starting March 9. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

Angelou, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary black literature. She is a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director who lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad. She is a lifetime Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Angelou is the author of 12 best-selling books and numerous magazine articles that have earned her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations. In 1993, Angelou became the second poet in U.S. history to have the honor of writing and reciting original work at a presidential inauguration. Delivering “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration gave her wide recognition for which she was awarded a Grammy.

Angelou, who speaks French, Spanish, Italian and West African Fanti, began her career in drama and dance. She married a South African freedom fighter and lived in Cairo where she was editor of The Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. In Ghana, she was feature editor of The African Review and taught at the University of Ghana.

Her best-selling autobiographical account of her youth, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” won critical acclaim in 1970 and was a two-hour TV special on CBS. She has written and produced several prize-winning documentaries, including “Afro-Americans in the Arts,” a PBS special for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. She was also nominated for an Emmy Award for her acting in “Roots,” and for her screenplay “Georgia, Georgia,” which was the first by a black woman to be filmed. 

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