HOUSTON People around the world are mourning the loss of Dr. Maya Angelou, who died Wednesday at age 86.
The renowned poet and civil rights activist was scheduled to appear in Houston this Friday to receive Major League Baseball s Beacon of Life Award. Today, the league released a statement saying it mourns her loss and that her words will continue to inspire generations.
KHOU 11 News Anchor Rekha Muddaraj spoke with some Houstonians who have a personal connection with Angelou.
The first thing you see is this statuesque woman, said acclaimed gospel singer Yolanda Adams, remembering the first time she met Dr. Angelou.
Adams was 21 years old, and she had just finished performing at a Congressional Black Caucus prayer breakfast, when the legendary author and poet spoke to her.
[She said] My doll, I enjoyed you, Adams recalled. Stay on the course. You re inspiring the world. You will inspire many.
Adams saw Angelou several times over the next three decades, including Oprah Winfrey s Legends Ball, where Adams was one of the young uns.
The last time the two spoke, was on Adams radio show, last year.
She was saying, Before I start anything my love, I want you to know that I so appreciate the woman you ve grown into, Adams said.
Scott Brogan brought Angelou to Houston twice as part of his Brilliant Lecture Series.
He recounts a funny moment when discussing how the legendary poet and author discussed her transportation to Houston.
He told us about a funny moment when he asked the legend how she wanted to travel here.
She said, I m so excited I bought the pop singer Prince s bus, his touring bus, so I m going to be traveling in that, said Brogan.
You knew then this was not your average grandmother, he said.
Brogan said Angelou never used a teleprompter during her lectures, and that the sold-out crowds would hang on her every word.
That voice, it will echo for generations, he said.