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NBJC Honors the Life and Legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) honors the life and legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away this morning at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86. She was a teacher, dancer, artist, poet, activist, and most importantly, a phenomenal woman who taught the world how to live their authentic truth by embracing both tragedies and triumphs in life. It is through her enduring and thought-provoking works that we are forever inspired to “still rise” no matter our circumstances or challenges.

From a young age, Dr. Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson, learned to overcome extraordinarily difficult odds. Shamed into silence after being a victim of sexual assault, she eventually told her story through one of the most acclaimed memoirs of the last century: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Between Dr. Angelou's non-fiction, fiction and published verse, she amassed more than 30 bestselling titles. She was also a trailblazer in film, composing the score and writing the screenplay for the 1972 film “Georgia,” the first-ever film made that was written by a Black woman. 

NBJC, a national civil rights organization dedicated to the eradication of racism and homophobia in society, celebrates the work and service of Dr. Angelou, whom never shied away from embracing her LGBT brothers and sisters. She led by example in teaching us all that our differences should be used as opportunities for us to spread a deeper respect, compassion and empathy for all human beings, no matter our background. 

Dr. Angelou stated it best: “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” NBJC stands on this value and the legacy of Dr. Angelou as we continue to work to build a community rooted in love, where all people, regardless of race, class, gender identity or sexual orientation, are empowered to live authentically, honestly and safely. 

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.