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Dr. Maya Angelou Receives A Literarian Award

Dr. Maya Angelou giving an exclusive interview to What's The 411 correspondent, Kizzy Cox Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks Dr. Maya Angelou giving an exclusive interview to What's The 411 correspondent, Kizzy Cox

The National Book Foundation honors Maya Angelou for outstanding contributions to the literary world

For nearly fifty years, Dr. Maya Angelou has moved us with her lyrical poetry and dynamic prose. Works like Phenomenal Woman and I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS have become literary classics. Her poem On The Pulse of Morning, written for President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration, garnered her the first of three Grammys (even more impressive because she was the first African-American and woman to recite an inaugural poem). She's also received an NAACP Image Award and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Now Dr. Angelou can add another award to her long list of accolades. The National Book Foundation honored her with The Literarian Award for outstanding contributions to the literary world. Fellow legend, Nobel Laureate, and longtime friend, Toni Morrison presented her with the award at the National Book Awards ceremony last Wednesday. Ms. Morrison spoke warmly of her friendship with Dr. Angelou and praised her talent and kindness.

The phenomenal woman herself was all smiles when she took the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd. Dr. Angelou, who spoke without notes, said she was "pleased" to be honored. Check out the interview to hear why after dozens of other awards and more than thirty honorary degrees, the Literarian Award is so special to her.