Maya Angelou, hailed as one of the great voices in contemporary literature, will give WVU s next Festival of Ideas lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in the Mountainlair ballrooms.
As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil rights activist and producer and director, she continues to travel the world �€spreading her legendary wisdom.
Dr. Angelou has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, beginning with her assignment as the first female editor of Cairos The Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East.
In the 1960s, at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she served as the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She also was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the Bicentennial Commission and by President Jimmy Carter to the National Commission on the Observance of International Womens Year.
In the film industry, Angelou has been a ground breaker for black women. Her screenplay Georgia, Georgia was the first original script by a black woman to be produced. As a writer/producer for 20th Century Fox TV, Angelous film Sister, Sisters became the companys first full-length effort. She has worked on numerous musical scores for films, both her own and for others, and most recently played a role in Universal Pictures How to Make an American Quilt.
She has made hundreds of appearances on both network and local television shows, including a one-hour interview with Bill Moyers on the PBS special Facing Evil . Her best-selling autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , was a special on CBS in 1979. Angelou received an Emmy nomination for her supporting role in the 1977 production of Roots and the coveted Golden Eagle Award for her PBS special Afro-Americans in the Arts .
Angelous awards and honors are numerous. She received the Chubb Fellowship Award from YaleUniversity in 1970, a National Book Award nomination in 1970 for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1972 for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water �€~ Fore I Diiie and a Tony nomination in 1973 for her performance in Look Away . In 1992, she was invited to compose and recite a poem to celebrate former President Bill Clintons inauguration. She was named Essences Woman of the Year. In 1994, and won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album On the Pulse of the Morning.
Jerry Greenfield, one half of the successful team that founded Ben&Jerrys Homemade, Inc., will be the next Festival speaker at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in the Mountainlair ballrooms.
Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan is set for Monday, March 19, at the same time and place.
For more information on the Festival of Ideas, call 304-293-SHOW or logon towww.events.wvu.edu