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Maya Angelou Signs Copies Of 'Maya Angelou: Letter to My Daughter' - October 30, 2008

Source: Jemal Countess / Getty

Tavis Smiley is bringing Maya Angelou’s legacy to the stage in an upcoming play about her life.

She’s got a hip-hop album, and a stamp, but the world is not done giving Maya her flowers. The Associated Press reports that Tavis has teamed with director Kenny Leons to adapt the radio host’s memoir “My Journey With Maya.”

The book follows the relationship that Tavis had with Maya, which spanned nearly three decades. After meeting Maya in the mid-80s, Tavis looked up to the poet not just as a friend, but as a mentor because she was always imparting wisdom about how to live a full life.

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He recalls that she would often drop little nuggets in their conversations like “We find our path by walking it” and “nothing human is alien to me.”

As Tavis explained, “That was her way of saying, ‘Live your life on your own terms. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Experience everything.’”

Tavis and Kenny have started the search for a writer, and they haven’t even thought about who they might cast for the show at this time. However, the play will be in very good hands with Kenny at the helm. He won a Tony Award last year for “A Raisin In The Sun,” and he’s signed on to bring “The Wiz” to Broadway! He’s still excited abut the Maya project.

“I haven’t been this excited by a project in a long, long time,” Kenny told AP. “I don’t think there is another person like her in my lifetime or in the last 100 years of American artistry and literary achievement.”


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Phenomenal Theater: Maya Angelou Play In Development  was originally published on