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Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama and Oprah speak at Maya Angelou’s memorial service

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey spoke at Maya Angelou’s memorial service Saturday at Wake Forest University.

“Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known,” Winfrey said in front of the crowd. “The loss I feel, I cannot describe. It’s like something I’ve never felt before.”

The service took place at Wait Chapel and had several others speakers including Angelou's son, grandson and pastor. Angelou’s family arranged the private service.

“She had the voice of God… And he decided he wanted it back for a while,” Clinton said.

Angelou’s family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only, due to limited seating capacity, according to the school.

The award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist died May 28 in her Winston-Salem home. She was 86.

Angelou had been reportedly battling health problems. She recently canceled a scheduled appearance of a special event to be held in her honor.

“She reminded us that we must each find our own voice and announce it to the world,” Obama said.

Angelou’s family will be planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country, according to Wake Forest.


Scott Gustin June 7, 20148:37 am

Scott Gustin June 7, 20148:37 am

Scott Gustin June 7, 20148:37 am

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Scott Gustin June 7, 20148:38 am

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Scott Gustin June 7, 201410:26 am

Joe Borlik June 7, 201410:58 am

Bill Clinton: “She taught us that life is a constant choice. Will you choose light or darkness?

Joe Borlik June 7, 201410:59 am

Bill Clinton: “As long as we have time, we should keep the courage to begin again. That’s what she gave to us.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:01 am

Lee Ann Womack sings, “I Hope You Dance” as a musical tribute at Dr. Angelou’s memorial.

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:03 am

Bill Clinton on Maya Angelou: “She had the voice of God… And he decided he wanted it back for a while.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:10 am

Provost Emeritus of Wake Forest University Dr. Edwin Wilson Emeritus: “Maya Angelou has become part of the history and fabric of Wake Forest University.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:11 am

“She chose to come to this Southern university and make it her home for the rest of her life.” Wake Provost Emeritus Edwin Wilson

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:22 am

Oprah Winfrey: “I’m here today to say thank you, to acknowledge to you all and to the world, how powerful one life can be.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:22 am

Oprah: “The loss I feel, I cannot describe. It’s like something I’ve never felt before.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:25 am

Oprah: “Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:30 am

Oprah: “She was my anchor… She would want me, you, us to live her legacy.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:31 am

Oprah: “I can’t fill her shoes, but I can walk in her footsteps.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:45 am

Michelle Obama: “It is truly a profound honor to be here today.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201411:49 am

Michelle Obama: “She reminded us that we must each find our own voice and announce it to the world.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:01 pm

Dr. Serenus Churn: “She was a lover of family.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:04 pm

Dr. Serenus Churn: “It was her joy to give, she was a giver.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:17 pm

Maya Angelou’s son: “She always said, ‘We are more alike than unalike.'”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:19 pm

Maya Angelou’s son: She was a voice for justice, equality and love… Anything that diminishes a human being diminishes all of us.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:32 pm

Maya Angelou’s grandson: “I’m the hand at your back keeping you steady. I might let you trip but I’ll never let you fall.”

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:55 pm

Joe Borlik June 7, 201412:56 pm


  • CFO

    It not about them, It’s about Dr. Maya Angelou, may her soul rest in peace.
    Please be respectful. Thank you.

  • Funny bunny

    Don’t be jealous,it’s not a becoming trait.Maya gave back to the community and society as a whole.Obviously,Steve,you have gave not a big Obama fan,or Winfrey fan,and really not a Clinton fan,but Maya was a great person,who gave in many ways.God rest her soul,and prayers are with her family

    • J.A. McDowell

      NAFTA did not sent jobs over seas. Greedy Big Business sent the jobs over seas. Henry Ford said, ” IF you pay peanuts, You will get monkey.” So now all you monkeys are running to Wal-Mart to buy what monkeys have made for you. Remember Monkey see Monkey do!!!!!!

  • C-lo

    I’m just about sick of hearing SO MUCH about this. I know she was a ‘great’ person, and all that, but you’d think that George Washington had died. I’ll bet there won’t be this much coverage when Billy Graham goes on to meet his maker. Enough is freakin’ enough.

    • WeBuiltThisCountry

      I think Billy Graham already passed. And I think it’s because of the pain Dr.Angelou had to overcome. My aunt told me she was raped by several men that where never charged.

  • Ty Raid @WM2793

    I actually think this is funny, you have the crreme de la creme of liberal oportunist who have made fortunes off of the misery of other people paying tribute to one of their own. What have any of thessee “dignitaries” done for our country other than increasing the race and class polarization of these United States

    • sinner 3

      Ty Raid you are straight on point with your post, all of those people are more of the reason for the problems than the solution ! And they all wanted the chance to showboat for her funeral !

    • J.A. McDowell

      You may think it is funny, but your little white only world is coming to an end and you can’t understand the facts. These liberals are just the tip of the spear. You can run out and buy all the AR-15 s in Wall-Mart, but you can not stop the changes that are moving all over the USA. Have you ever heard the statement, Change or get plowed under? The racial mixture of the USA is changing, the age mixture is changing, and what makes you laugh now will not be so funny in the next 50 years.

  • The One

    Hitlery Clinton : A nasty lady who will most likely run for prez in ’16 and would like nothing more than absolute power. Her sleazy dealings were a reason that her husband’s errrrr business partner’s presidency was one of the most corrupt in American history. Because of her huge @ss and thunder thighs, her pants-suits are made by Omar the Tentmaker.
    If I had a wife like Hitlery, I’d also be getting hummers from young fat interns.

    • J.A. McDowell

      You don’t like the Black president and now you will not like the woman president. Looks like you are going to have to find some place else to live. (Maybe the Moon)

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