Google celebrates the life of Maya Angelou with new Doodle

Wade Sheridan
Google is paying homage to poet Maya Angelou with a new Doodle. Image courtesy of Google
Google is paying homage to poet Maya Angelou with a new Doodle. Image courtesy of Google

April 4 (UPI) -- Google is honoring renowned author, poet and activist Maya Angelou on what would have been her 90th birthday with a new Doodle.

Google's homepage features artwork depicting Angelou alongside a start button that, when clicked, begins an art-filled video that features the voices of Angelou and celebrities including Alicia Keys, America Ferrera, Martina McBride, Laverne Cox, Oprah Winfrey and Angelou's son Guy Johnson as they recite Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise."


"In a life rich with experiences and stories, author, poet, memoirist, and activist Dr. Maya Angelou touched the lives of millions around the globe through her teachings, her writings, her voice, and her actions," Google said before presenting a biography on her career.

Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson in 1928, was sexually assaulted at 7-years-old which left her mute for five years. She would go onto to become San Francisco's first female and black streetcar conductor, join the cast of touring opera Porgy and Bess, master several languages, sing and dance in professional cabarets, work as a journalist in Africa and become a civil rights activist.

Angelou's first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings released in 1969, turned her into a mainstream success who went on to release six other biographical works.

"Through her works, Dr. Angelou gave a voice to millions. She championed women's rights and gender equality. She redefined black beauty and celebrated African-American oral traditions. She advocated against war and campaigned for universal peace," Google continued.

Angelou died at the age of 86 in May 2014.

Google also included quotes from the celebrities who narrated the video and said what Angelou meant to them.

"Maya Angelou, I love her so much. Everything she represented as a woman, her creativity, her story, who she is. She was a renaissance woman of all types, she recreated though levels, all angles, all places in her mind. She is brilliant...I am honored to be able to say her words," Keys said.

"Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she did it all. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence, and a fiery, fierce grace and abounding love," Winfrey said.

Johnson, who partnered with Google on the Doodle with his wife Stephanie Floyd-Johnson, also commented on his mother and her legacy.

"My mother's principal message was one of inclusiveness; that despite our ethnic, religious and cultural differences, we are more alike than unalike. She saw all our differences in language, orientation and perspective as an indication of the richness of our imagination and creativity, and as elements of our nature that we should celebrate. She believed that we are all images of God, no matter how we look or what name we use to call upon the Divine and Sacred Being," he said.

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