TONIGHT: Maya Angelou to Speak at UC

The University of Cincinnati will observe African-American History Month with an evening with Maya Angelou at

7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8,

in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The event was originally scheduled to be held in the 800-seat Great Hall. Rich Robles, interim director of UC Student Activities and Leadership Development, says the event was moved to the much larger Fifth Third Arena because of the overwhelming interest from the Greater Cincinnati Community.

Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary African-American literature. She has authored 12 best-selling books and numerous magazine articles, earning nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. She’s a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. 

As a poet, Angelou was among the first African-American women to be named on the bestseller lists with her autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” published in 1970. In 1993, Angelou became the second poet in U.S. history to have the honor of writing and reciting her original poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. The occasion led to a Grammy Award for best spoken word.

As an activist, at the request of Martin Luther King, Jr., she became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1960s. She is also a pioneer in the film industry. Her screenplay “Georgia” was the first screenplay written by an African-American woman to be filmed. She serves on the board of the American Film Institute and is one of the few female members of the Director’s Guild.

Angelou lectures throughout the United States and abroad. Since 1981, she has held a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Angelou’s appearance at UC is part of the UC Leadership Lecture Series, sponsored by UC’s Student Activities and Leadership Development, MainStreet and Ethnic Programs and Services. The lecture series aims to promote leadership on campus and in the community. Russell Simmons kicked off the quarterly lecture series on Oct. 25. For more information on the Angelou lecture, call Student Activities and Leadership Development at 513-556-6115.

Angelou’s last visit to UC was in 1996, when she was keynote speaker at UC’s annual spring Worldfest events that celebrate global study, research and the representation of UC’s many cultures on campus.

UC Map of Uptown West Campus

Media Coverage: No videotaping or audio-taping of the performance except for members of the media, who may record during the first five minutes only. Furthermore, the use of camera lights or any flashes by professional media is strictly prohibited.

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