On Tuesday, Maya Angelou’s 95th birthday, which would have been celebrated by the renowned poet and civil rights pioneer, Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to her late friend.
‘Maya would have been 95 today – and I would be throwing her a BIG party, as I did every 5th year since she turned 60,’ Winfrey, 69, said in a caption alongside a shot of the pair together
The media titan spoke candidly about how Angelou served as both a mentor and an important role model for her when they first met while she was younger.
‘I grew up reading her insightful books and memorizing her poems,’ Winfrey said.
She continued: ‘When I finally got to meet her in my late 20s she made me a meal and read me Paul Laurence Dunbar poetry.’
Winfrey said that ‘from that point on,’ she ‘sat at [Angelou’s] table and listened to her words of wisdom for years.’
They included quotes such as: ‘When people tell you who they are, believe them – the FIRST time;’ ‘When you know better, you do better;’ and ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give.’
Winfrey said Angelou provided her with ‘a mind treasure of other wisdoms’ she’s held in her heart in the years since her passing.
‘I value those gifts to me even more now that she’s gone,’ Winfrey said. ‘But more importantly, I still feel her everywhere.
‘In the stillness, in conversations, in sun rises and sunsets, her Spirit abides with me, greeting me as she always did, “Hello, you darling girl.'”
Angelou, who published her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969, died at 86 on May 28, 2014.
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