The Association of Wake Forest University Black Alumni (AWFUBA) and the Wake Forest Office of Alumni Engagement are thrilled to celebrate fifty years of the classic and beloved memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings written by Dr. Maya Angelou.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. EST and consist of the screening of a never-before-seen short film featuring special guests reading an excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, followed by a panel discussing the significance of Dr. Angelou and her memoir for our times and over the last 50 years.
Members of the Wake Forest community are then invited to participate in a facilitated discussion, similar to a book club. Please note that the facilitated discussions have a very limited number of spots available. A commemorative discussion guide will also be available in PDF format for all registrants to use in their own communities, families, or book clubs.
Published in 1969, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings became an instant bestseller and a lightning rod for its honest and candid description of Dr. Angelou’s early life in Stamps, Arkansas. The recipient of numerous acknowledgements throughout the years, the National Book Foundation bestowed its prestigious Literarian Award upon Dr. Angelou and the memoir in 2013.
Dr. Angelou’s relationship and love for Wake Forest began in 1973 when she first visited the University. The relationship deepened in 1977 when she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University and then five years later, in 1982, she was named Wake Forest’s first Reynolds Professor of American Studies. She made her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as she held this special position for over thirty years, and continued to teach and write.