EUGENE, Ore. — A day after the world lost a legendary author, poet and civil rights voice local friends of Maya Angelou are reflecting on the legacy she leaves behind.
Dr. Edwin Coleman is a retired UO professor and good friend of Angelou’s.
Dr. Coleman says in 1956 he and Angelou became good friends after playing at the Purple Onion – a well-known music and comedy club in San Francisco.
He says Angelou was a solo singer and Dr. Coleman backed her on bass; they performed for six nights together.
He says ever since then whenever Angelou would come to the Pacific Northwest, they would get together and reminisce about old times.
Coleman says the world is losing not only a literary giant, but inspirational humanitarian.
“So many people relied on her for support, emotional, mental support especially for African Americans. And they saw her as someone who they could aspire to,” said Coleman.
Coleman says he’s been in awe of Angelou’s life and feels blessed to know her.
Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem Wednesday.
She was 86.