This morning as the world was awaken to the sad news on the sudden passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, countless fans and admires have reflected on the award-winning poet and activist’s profound impact on society through various mediums.
And perhaps one of Angelou’s many memorable moments took place during the filming of John Singleton’s 1993 drama, “Poetic Justice,” where she diffused an argument involving the film’s star, Tupac Shakur. As the author recalled during a 2013 interview with Canadian media personality George Stroumboulopoulos, her insightful history lesson with Shakur provoked the late rapper to “cry.”
“I didn’t know who he was... He was into a big rowel with another young man,” she recalled during the interview. “And so I said to him, ‘May I speak to you?’ And he was cursing. ‘I wouldn’t give a…’ I said, ‘I understand that, but let me speak to you.’… ‘If these mutha…,’ I said, ‘I got ya. However, let me speak to you.’ And finally I said, ‘When was the last time anyone told you how important you are? Did you know our people stood on auction blocks, were bought and sold so that you could stay alive today.’”
“And finally he heard me and stopped talking, and started to weep. And I put my arms around him, and I walked him back into the arena. And he cried.” In addition to a selection of Maya Angelou’s poems featured in the Academy Award-nominated film, she also portrayed the role of Aunt June.
Check out more of Maya Angelou’s recollection of Tupac in the clip above.