Poet, author, Maya Angelou and her visit to Dayton

Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou speak at the Schuster Center in 2005. (Photo/WDTN)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The year was 2005, September, to be exact and the audience at the Schuster Center was electrified by the arrival of poet and author Maya Angelou. She was one half of a famous pair of women who came to Dayton to raise money for the historic Wright Dunbar Business Village.

Angelou heard about the Wright Dunbar need when she visited Dayton in 2004, so she brought her legendary friend Oprah Winfrey to help as well. The event, co-sponsored by WDTN, was called “Read and Rise – a Tribute to Bessie Coleman”. Coleman was the first African American female pilot.

Oprah Winfrey spoke first that night, then introducing her friend and mother figure, Angelou. The two sat in chairs and talked about life, what each had experienced in their personal journeys and the wisdom they had garnered.

The sold out audience was able to raise $100,000 from the $300 dollar ticket event.

Maya Angelou, American storyteller and former poet laureate, died Wednesday, May 28 at age 86.

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