Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep deep roots in American culture,” icon Maya Angelou gives people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African American thought that pushed boundaries.
Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack's unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining civil rights moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her swinging soirees with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, we are given special access to interviews with Dr. Angelou whose indelible charm and quick wit make it easy to love her.
Skillfully crafted with heart and ease, this film reflects the vibrant spirit of an American legend who was determined to live her philosophies and fought for what she believed in her whole life.
Bob Hercules's recent films include Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance and Bill T. Jones: A Good Man. The former aired on PBS's American Masters in 2012 and premiered at the 2012 Dance on Camera festival at Lincoln Center. A Good Man aired on American Masters in 2011 and played at many film festivals. Hercules also directed the acclaimed Forgiving Dr.Mengele in 2005.
Rita Coburn Whack
Rita Coburn Whack, the director of RCW Media Productions, Inc., is an Emmy Award–winning television documentarian for Curators of Culture, Remembering 47th Street and African Roots American Soil. Under her direction, Maya Angelou's radio show for Oprah Radio was awarded the Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award and the Silver World Medal Award at the Radio New York Festival in 2009.