WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – First lady Michelle Obama is remembering poet, orator and sage Maya Angelou (MY’-uh AN’-juh-loh) as the first person who let her know she could be a strong, powerful and smart black woman.
Obama spoke Saturday at Angelou’s memorial service in a chapel at Wake Forest University. She remembered reading Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” and how it changed a woman whose first doll was Malibu Barbie.
Obama remembered meeting Angelou for the first time at a campaign rally in North Carolina in 2008. The first lady said that while she doesn’t remember exactly what the poet said to her, she remembered how Angelou made her feel.
Obama joined former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and other family, friends and famous admirers to remember Angelou, who died last week at age 86.