Welcome to the weekend! Kick your shoes off, put your feet up and get ready for our Weekend Watchlist #4, in which we pay homage to the late, great Dr. Maya Angelou. It was recently World Poetry Day on the 21st of March, so we thought it was only fitting that this Weekend Watchlist be all about one of the greatest American poets of all time. Not only was Maya Angelou an acclaimed poet, writer, and playwright – she was also a storyteller, activist, autobiographer, singer, dancer, actress, composer, and educator.
As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked closely with figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X, which gained her recognition as a spokesperson for blacks and women, as well as the civil rights movement as a whole. She served on two presidential committees, Gerald Ford’s in 1975 and Jimmy Carter’s in 1997, and in 2010 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Watch the trailer for And Still I Rise (2016):
This 2016 documentary is the first film to be made about Angelou’s remarkable life, shedding light on the lesser-known parts of who she was behind the scenes. The film is a tribute to Angelou’s legacy, and the inspiration she brought to generations with her exuberance, wit and charm. And Still I Rise blends Angelou’s words with archival footage, taking us on a journey from Angelou’s childhood in the Depression-era South, to her work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, to the later stages of her prolific career.
Interviews with Angelou’s friends and family, including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton and her son, Guy Johnson really give a sense of the impact that she had on people’s lives. Whether through her writings, her activism, or just her voice and presence, Angelou had an undeniable effect on people, and on the world.
Bonus video: Maya Angelou performs her poem, “On The Pulse Of The Morning”, for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Looking for more weekend viewing options? Check out more of our Weekend Watchlists, starting with our most recent Weekend Watchlist #3: Top 10 Girl Power Movies For International Women’s Day.
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