life of an icon. Maya Angelou. The legendary poet and author was a guiding force throughout so many lives, including my own. Over the course of many years, I had the privilege of getting to know her... See More
life of an icon. Maya Angelou. The legendary poet and author was a guiding force throughout so many lives, including my own. Over the course of many years, I had the privilege of getting to know her and to see a side that not everyone got to see. And it like to share a little of that with you. I think the only thing that heals is love. And I don't mean sentimentality. That human condition that is so profound that allows us to know that I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me. Reporter: The elegance of her prose and the rhythm of her poetry, always lifts my spirits. As a teenager in Mississippi, I vividly remember Reading "I know why the caged bird sings." Her groundbreaking autobiography, with the power from within to overcome self-doubt. You struggle. Try to play it good. Play it good. Reporter: And play it good, she sure did. Dr. Angelou, who championed causes for people all over the world, received the presidential medal of freedom in 2010. And I had the rare honor of seeing it up close at her home in Harlem. What does it mean for you? It's so moving. It is the medal of freedom. The highest medal given in my country by my country, to my civilian. This medal of freedom is for every one of us. And you know, I don't weep in public. However, when I saw this, robin Roberts, I wept. I didn't even try to stem the tears that came down. I didn't. I had no apology to make. This is for every American. Reporter: While she is known more for her prose than her pot roast, Dr. Angelou loved to cook. Brussels and a cake. Carrots, straw, and spinach raw, today, I need a steak. Reporter: I had the joy of sharing meals with her. But it was always the conversations that I found most nourishing. Dr. Angelou, this is bringing me back to my childhood. This is Sunday. I can't even say -- we would eat at the dinner table. Absolutely. Reporter: It was just a given. Absolutely. Reporter: It wasn't an option. If you don't sit together, over a condition as intimate, the most intimate condition you can have, save sex -- Reporter: You didn't say that. Yes, I did. I mean, when you have planned a meal, cooked it, you bought the food, you prepared it and you present it in the most beautiful presentation possible, to people you care for, what can be more intimate? Reporter: Over the years, I learned so much about her. Some of it, a little surprising. I'm a serious aficionado of country music. I do the CMT from time to time. Yeah. Reporter: Well, we are kindred souls. I used to deejay country music. Dr. Angelou famously wrote, I forget what people what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. My dear friend, you made me feel love and joy. That was my favorite from her. You can't remember because people are saying, when was the last time you talked to her? I remember how I felt. And you saw that outpouring of feeling yesterday, when the news came. Oh, my goodness. All over the world. And it was really refreshing that a lot of younger people were raising their hand and saying, I want to know more. That they realize that we were -- And the beautiful thing is she has such a legacy. We can read her works. You can reread them and inspire a new generation. I will not be here tomorrow for 50. I won't be here for 50 because I'll be at the MLB civil rights luncheon, the beacon awards to be at her honor. We can't wait to hear about that.
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