WOMEN
06/04/2014 10:16 am ET Updated Jun 04, 2014

Why Maya Angelou Disliked Modesty

ASSOCIATED PRESS

“You may now kiss my cheek,” said Maya Angelou. Her deep voice hung in the air, filling the large dining room inside of her Harlem home.

Stunned, I sat there for a minute. I had never been asked at the end of an interview to kiss someone else’s cheek.

It was October 2008 and I had flown to New York after haggling for months for an interview for an in-flight magazine cover story. Prior to the interview, a set of “communication courtesy” instructions for meeting Angelou were emailed to me, much like a list I imagine boarding schools send out to students for review before making an appearance.

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