Editor's note: We were deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Maya Angelou's passing. The following was published May 2011 following Oprah's finale special.

Oprah calls Dr. Maya Angelou her mentor, mother, sister and friend. At Oprah's surprise farewell spectacular, the legendary poet read this original work.
Imagine a newborn, big-eyed, Black, baby girl
Waiting to see her world.
Waiting to receive a name.
Let's call her Fannie Mae,
She'll stay in this place.

No, let's call her
Bonnie Brown,
She'll never leave this town.

Then the universe had an aha! moment,
and said Oprah.
A mixture of a precious gem
And a musical play.

Neighbors laughed and said now that's really mean
To give her a name she cannot even explain.

The universe whispered,

A grandmother lifted her up
To show her to God,
And God said,
I'm going to show you a road to your future.

And in Tennessee she began to see herself.
Someone said,
What's your name?
She said, Oprah.
And, what do you do?
She said, I am being Oprah.

And then she stood erect
She saw no one higher than herself
And no one lower.

Baltimore asked Oprah,
Will you come here
And anchor an evening program, Oprah?

She said, Yes, but I want to give voice
To the voiceless.

And then Chicago called and said,
Will you come to the city of big shoulders?

Her country began to know her and call her by her name
And then Europe and Asia and Africa and Australia said
And she said, Yes.

And people listened to her
For twenty-five years
She listened

She said be strong, be kind and call me Oprah
I am Oprah
©2011 Maya Angelou


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