She wrote her words, she spoke her words and now she has given her words.
World-renowned poet and author, Dr. Maya Angelou, has chosen a permanent home for the writings and letters that span her 50-year career.
In a ceremony marking the official passing of the documents from Angelou to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Angelou spoke about why she chose the Harlem library.
“Of the stories in my life, those I’ve written about, some I’ve whispered about and some others have whispered about me,” said the 82-year-old poet. “I’m glad to present all of that to the Schomburg through Howard Dodson to the New York City library, to the world and to all the children.”
The research center in Harlem, a division of the New York Public Library, will receive over 300 boxes that span the 50-year career of Angelou. The archives include letters written to Angelou from Malcolm X and Coretta Scott King.
The collection also includes the first draft of On the Pulse of Morning, a poem that Angelou delivered at the 1993 inauguration of President Bill Clinton. The document shows how the first line was changed from “Rocks, Rivers, Trees” to “A Rock, A River, A Tree.”
It will take over one year for the entire collection to be processed. Selected materials from the array of documents are currently on display at center.