"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away on May 28th, was a gifted dancer, actress, singer and writer.
She studied with Martha Graham and danced with Alvin Ailey.
She won many awards, including three Grammys and the Presidential Medal of Arts…was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize…and hailed for her novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
But that's not really why she is being remembered as a national treasure.
Dr. Angelou spoke out for those who were afraid to speak and stood up for what was right and just.
That's a bit ironic since young Maya didn't even talk until she was 13.
But she became a voice for the masses on the topics of social injustice, human inequality and equal education for all.
Maya grew to become an "Phenomenal Woman."
With her written words, she became an American conscience.
Through her poems and common sense stories, she taught us lessons of life.
Through the years, Dr. Angelou focused on education…understanding the hope of our future rests squarely with our young people.
She mastered multiple languages, worked closely with UNCF, and served as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
In a few weeks, Charlotte will host the Maya Angelou Luncheon, celebrating her life and awarding the gift of education to a deserving young person.
Let us all take a few moments to remember Dr. Maya Angelou, a legendary icon and American hero.