Oprah Politely Checks Fan Who Says She’s Not Allowed To Call Maya Angelou By Her 1st Name

Oprah Politely Checks Fan Who Says She’s Not Allowed To Call Maya Angelou By Her 1st Name

It’s no secret Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou were pretty close when Angelou passed away in May 2014. So it’s also no surprise that Winfrey handed one critic a classy response when they attempted to criticize her for calling Angelou by her first name.

In a post that celebrated Angelou’s birthday Thursday, Winfrey wrote,

“Maya would have been 91 today! This is my favorite picture of us. Even in death I feel the “unbroken continuity” of her mother-sister-friendship referenced in the Henry Scott Holland canon ???? Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are. Call me by my old familiar name.”

“Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you. For an interval. Somewhere. Very near. Just around the corner.All is well.”

Oprah Winfrey speaks at Maya Angelou’s funeral

Interestingly enough, one fan seemed to be upset that Winfrey referenced Angelou as “Maya.” She commented:
“Ms. Angelou to you Oprah. You have no license to call her Maya. She will always be Ms. Angelou.”
It didn’t take long for Winfrey to respond with her own truth.
“She actually gave be persmission after the 2nd or 3rd visit to her home to call her ‘Maya.’ Believe me I’ve witnessed when other folk did NOT have that permission!”
One of those people was a young girl who Angelou corrected while appearing on a TV show previously. In the vintage clip that went viral last month, the young girl asks Angelou a question, but before she answered, she told the girl to call her “Ms. Angelou.”

“Oh thank you, and first I’m Ms. Angelou. I’m not Maya. I’m 62-years-old. I have lived so long and tried so hard that a woman like you, or any other… you have no license to come up to me and call me by my first name. Also because at the same time I’m your mother, I am your auntie, I’m your teacher, I’m your professor. You see?”

She later apologized to the young woman. See the clip below.


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What do you think about Oprah Winfrey’s response for the fan? Tell us in the comments!


Authored by: Char Patterson