As people worldwide mourn the passing of Maya Angelou, an announcement on Wednesday may warm the hearts of some who wouldn’t have been able to attend her memorial service. The service will be live-streamed, according to an announcement from Wake Forest University, where the service will be held.
The service will be a closed one, the announcement goes on, with seating for family and friends only, but her son, Guy B. Johnson, will later announce plans for further celebrations of Maya Angelou’s life, with these memorials taking place across the country and welcoming more of those who loved her.
The live-stream will be aired starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, on Wake Forest University’s website, and all those who loved Maya Angelou in he life, an through her works, are invited to join the family for it.
Rolling Stone reported yesterday that the service will include a performance by Lee Ann Womack of her song, “I Hope You Dance,” which was reportedly a favorite of Ms. Angelou’s. Womack even cancelled an appearance as host of CMT’s Next Women of Country special to attend the memorial service instead, saying,
“Maya Angelou is one of the true modern American voices in literature. Her books have touched so many, and the fact that my song touched her… Well, you can’t say ‘no.'”
I” couldn’t imagine not singing it for her, especially on Saturday.”
It’s also been reported this week that Oprah Winfrey has been a part of the planning for the service, and as a friend of Maya Angelou, it’s likely that she’ll be speaking at the service too. She was in Winston-Salem earlier this week to help plan the funeral, according to Fox 8, and tweeted to fans that she was sitting at Maya Angelou’s kitchen table.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) June 2, 2014
Oprah also posted a photo of herself with Dr. Maya Angelou on Instagram, with a short tribute to the beloved writer, dancer, singer, and poet.
No formal guest list for the service has been released, though Wake Forest University has stated that access to the campus will be limited, and members of the press who were approved by Wednesday, June 4, and noted that they feel confident they can keep the access appropriately limited and keep the guests safe. The Westboro Baptist Church has stated an intent to picket the funeral, but there have been no stated threats of harm to the mourners.
Maya Angelou passed away last Wednesday, at the age of 86, leaving behind autobiographies, essays, poems, songs, and influence on plays, television shows, and hearts that will live on for decades, if not centuries, to come.
[Photo Credit: Brian Stansbury]