Tag Archives: Maya Angelou

Nikole Darnell and Professor Angela Jackson-Brown Reflect on Maya Angelou's Legacy

On February 16th, Ball State held a tribute to author Maya Angelou, who died this past June.  English department faculty Prof. Mark Neely and Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown were both involved in planning the event, and Prof. Jackson-Brown spoke at the tribute.  The English Department asked sophomore English major Nikole Darnell to interview Prof. Jackson-Brown and to reflect on the event.


Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Almost every chair in Ball State’s Student Center Ballroom was full as people from all around packed in, eager to see the tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou that was sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity on Monday February 16, 2015.

While there were numerous Ball State students and faculty in attendance, the program also attracted several outside visitors. For instance, the gentleman sitting next to me said his group traveled from Ivy Tech to see the program.

It is an understatement to say that the tribute was spectacular—it was also beautiful, thought provoking, and, at times, moved me to tears.

Professor Angela Jackson-Brown of the Ball State English Department, one of the speakers at the tribute, graciously made time to speak with me about the event and her love for Dr. Angelou’s work. Professor Brown remembers becoming interested in poetry as a child when her father gave her a book of poems. It was then that she discovered Maya Angelou’s work and “all of these amazing black poets” and “that it was okay for [her] to write and explore [her] feelings through the written word.” It was obvious by the end of the night that Professor Brown was not the only one inspired by Dr. Angelou’s work.

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Celebrate the Legacy of Maya Angelou

Born in the Jim Crow South, Maya Angelou used her passion as an activist and a writer to inspire discussions surrounding civil rights. As a way to celebrate Angelou’s written works and devotion to social, political, and economic equality, organizers at the Office of Institutional Diversity and BSU English hope to nurture a diverse university community. 


 Sunday, February 15th

Charlene Alexander

Charlene Alexander, Director of Institutional Diversity

I Read…I Rise Poetry Slam

Monday, February 16th

Tribute to Maya Angelou

Stedman Graham, who got his MA at BSU.

Stedman Graham, who got his MA at BSU.

  • 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Student Center Ballroom
  • Keynote speaker: Stedman Graham
    • CEO of S. Graham and Associates, a Chicago-based management/marketing consulting firm.
    • Conducts lectures and seminars worldwide, inspiring young people to transform into leaders.
    • Author of eleven books, including two New York Times bestsellers and one Wall Street Journal bestseller.
    • Earned his Master’s degree in Education at Ball State.
    • Oprah’s boyfriend. 🙂
  • At the event, you’ll learn about how you can volunteer in the Muncie community.

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