Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry pays homage to poet Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's last tweet / Headline Surfer®At left is the final tweet of author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou a couple of days before her death Wednesday morning. She was remembered locally by Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry who said he twice met her, describing her as an 'American literary icon.'
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Mayor Derrick Henry paid homage Wednesday to American poet Maya Angelou who passed away at the age of 86.

"I can't think of an American literary icon that I have adored more," said Henry of Mayou, who died Wednesday morning. "I am thankful for having been exposed to her gracious spirit and enormous personality. I have had the pleasure of reading all of her books."

The first-term mayor elected in 2012 said he twice met Angelou and had dinner with her and on each occasion "found her to be as gracious, awe inspiring, charming, and unforgettable as her writings."

Henry added, "I feel blessed to have encountered her and sorry that the world has to grieve such a loss. I really admired her for her humility, humor and common sense."

The mayor wrote on his Facebook page of Maya Angelou, "Earth has given way to heaven as it embraces an Angel that we called Maya."

Headline Surfer® photo / Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry paid homage Wednesday to American poet Maya Angelou who passed away at the age of 86.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry / Headline Surfer®"I can't think of an American literary icon that I have adored more," said Henry of Mayou, who died Wednesday morning. "I am thankful for having been exposed to her gracious spirit and enormous personality. I have had the pleasure of reading all of her books."

The mayor wrote on his Facebook page of Maya Angelou, "Earth has given way to heaven as it embraces an Angel that we called Maya."

Angelou, noted for her civil rights activism and writing, including her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," died in Winston-Salem, NC, where lived. She was 86 years old.

Maya Angelou Timeline / Headline Surfer®FAST FACTS: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees.
 
Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim. She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, night-club dancer and performer, cast-member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. Since 1982, she taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she held the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies.
 
She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Since the 1990s she made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her 80s.
 
In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Attempts have been made to ban her books from some US libraries, but her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide.
 
Angelou's major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family,and travel.
-- Source: Wikipedia
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.