Anyone who has ever read works written by Maya Angelou, or heard her speak, knows that wisdom radiates from her words. But while this renaissance woman delivers many lessons, inspiration is at the heart of her message.
"There are certain truths that I think everybody needs to realize, one being the courage it takes to admit where you are. I wouldn't be anywhere had I not had the courage to look at where I was," says Angelou, adding that a person must acknowledge what his or her current position is in life and then determine what choices to make for the future.
Angelou's path has led her to become a three-time Grammy Award winner who wears the hats of poet, educator, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She is perhaps best known as an author; her latest book, A Song Flung Up to Heaven, is the sixth installment in an autobiographical series, and she is currently at work on a book in which she explores the role of food in a variety of human interactions.
Never one to keep her plate less than full, Angelou also oversees the "Maya's World" book series, which comprises stories about children all over the world. A central theme permeates these tales. "It is that human beings are more alike than we are unalike," says Angelou. That simple lesson underscores her concern that we have failed to realize the importance of cultural diversity. "I think that we have not been courageous enough to meet people and make friends," she declares.
Angelou, who has said that she is impressed by Denver's residents and by such cultural amenities as the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, will return to our city for An Evening with Dr. Maya Angelou at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 18, at the Pepsi Center, as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences women's lecture series. The arena will be set up to seat 5,000, for a more intimate setting. Angelou, who is said to be a truly captivating speaker, will approach the event that way.
"I would speak the same to one person or 1,000 people," she says. "I hope to inform and entertain."
The evening will also include a trunk show featuring one-of-a-kind jewelry, art and gifts imported from South Africa and other countries around the world.