Michelle Obama Praises Maya Angelou at Memorial

First Lady Michelle Obama said, “The first time I read ‘Phenomenal Woman,’ I was struck by the way she celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before. Her words were clever and sassy, they were powerful and sexual and boastful, and in that one singular poem, Maya Angelou spoke to the essence of black women, but she also graced us with an anthem for all women.”

Saying her first doll was a Malibu Barbie, the First Lady said black women needed that message.

Angelou’s words were “so powerful they carried a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago all the way to the White House,” and they “paved the way for me and Oprah [who also spoke at Angelou’s service on Saturday] and so many others just to be our good old black-woman selves,” Obama said.