Dr. Maya Angelou speaking to hundreds at Women2Women Conference/Photo Credit: Susan Ross

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Poet, author, actress and mentor, Dr. Maya Angelou was the keynote speaker at today’s YEG Phenomenal Woman Awards Luncheon in Atlanta, GA.

The two-hour event was held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and was part of the Inaugural Women 2 Women Conference presented by Sonjia W. Young and the Young Eventions Group. The one day symposium featured a variety of workshops and seminars aimed at empowering and transforming the lives of women at home, in their community and in the workplace.

Dr. Angelou spoke to more than 500 attendees about their responsibility as mothers and role models to future generations. She compared them to ‘rainbows in the clouds,’ calling each woman a glimmer of hope in a dark situation.

The 85-year-old icon, which has personally mentored Oprah Winfrey, also encouraged the audience to ‘give as soon as they get’ and ‘teach as soon as they learn.’ Dr. Angelou talked about her dislike of the N-word and profanity amongst Black youth and her first encounter with the late Tupac Shakur. Since the luncheon’s name was coined after one of her famous poems, Phenomenal Woman, it was only fair that Dr. Angelou recited the now legendary piece of literature to the crowd’s delight.

Dr. Angelou closed out her time by taking questions from the audience where she addressed everything from how to overcome fear to the importance of grandmothers. She also explained why she wrote a poem for Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the defining moment she learned that her words possessed power.

Check out some of the live audio below and enjoy the words and wisdom of Dr. Maya Angelou:

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