When Maya Angelou, the multi-talented author, poet and civil rights activist, died at 86 on May 28, 2014, it greatly affected many people. Not only did we lose a great person, but we lost a profound voice that for many years eloquently spoke out through her writings for people that were not allowed to have a voice or know they could use it. Through her award-winning writings she brought attention to things people avoided dealing with, and these writings encouraged people to take a deep look at issues such as childhood sexual abuse, poverty, racism and the South. When people begin examining issues and having conversations, it brings forth change. She brought forth change. So yes, her death affected many.
Tavis Smiley, talk show host, author, commentator, philanthropist, and another voice for change, was so deeply affected by the death of Maya Angelou that he has written a book about it, titled “”My Journey with Maya.” Tavis Smiley shares on his website, tavistalks.com, that as a young college graduate from a poor family in the Midwest, Maya Angelou became a mentor to him. They shared a 28 year friendship of long, deep conversations and a sojourn to Ghana. She helped shape who he became. He shared that they had an ongoing debate over which was more important– love or courage? They never ended the discussion and Tavis Smiley has encouraged people to join in on his Facebook page and Twitter #LoveVSCourage to continue this conversation. You can also possibly get a free copy of the book.
The book will be available for purchase April 7, 2015 in stores and online at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, ibooks and Indiebound. Tavis Smiley is scheduled to speak Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Los Angeles Festival of Books, held at University of Southern California, University Campus, Los Angeles, Ca. 90089. He will speak at 2:30 pm at the Los Angeles Times Stage. It is free to attend and there will be maps to help guide you to his stage. Arrive early, it is a fairly big campus. The book will be available for purchase, and if you don’t mind the wait in line, you will be able to greet him personally and have him sign your copy of his book.