A new play is in the works to honor the late, great Maya Angelou. Tavis Smiley, a long-time friend and confidant of Angelou, has recently released a memoir, “My Journey With Maya,” off of which the play will be based. Along with several other producers and director Kenny Leon, Smiley has worked to compile a performance about the wisdom and acceptance that Angelou preached.
Smiley divulges a bit of his memoir while discussing the logistics of turning it into a stage performance: “I’ve been saying for the longest time she may be the greatest renaissance woman in black America. But I’m really wrestling with whether or not she may be the greatest renaissance woman, period,” Smiley said. A woman with so many accomplishments, a resume of civil rights and powerful quotes, and a generous heart is much deserving of a showcase of her life’s work.
Kenny Leon is just as excited about the tasteful presentation of “My Journey With Maya.” His views of Maya Angelou echo those of Smiley: “I don’t think there is another person like her in my lifetime or in the last 100 years of American artistry and literary achievement.” The book is set to be released Tuesday, April 7, the same day the United States Postal Service will launch a commemorative Angelou postage stamp.