Terriana Haynes sang the song "The Presence of the Lord Is Here" prior to Angelou
addressing the audience at Delta State University in 2004 as part of ROAR's continuation
celebrations of Fannie Lou Hamer. Delta State University co-sponsored the event.
I, Patricia M. Thompson, first met Dr. Maya Angelou in May 1998 in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have continued to communicate with her
every since. Having her in my home town of Cleveland, Mississippi,
six and a half years later, was truly "Devine". Because we had
communicated before on numerous occasion regarding the legacy
of Fannie Lou Hamer, one of the questions she asked me was "Did
you see the Tribute?"
Angelou led a tribute at the National Democratic Convention, in July
2004, to Fannie Lou Hamer and the 40th Anniversary of the
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party where she was joined on
stage by four of the original delegates of the 1964 MFDP; Mrs.
Victoria Gray Adams, Mr. Lawrence Guyot, Rev. Ed King and Mrs.
Emma Sanders. Mrs. Sanders returned to the Democratic
Convention in Boston in 2004 (40 years later) as a delegate from
the Mississippi Democratic Party.
During the peak of crisis in Mississippi in the 1960's, Harry
Bellefonte assisted Mrs. Hamer, financially, often. Maya organized a
"Freedom Cabaret" among friends in the entertainment industry to
help raise funds. She was appointed as Northern Coordinator of the
SCLC by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Maya Angelou and I discussed several things, but, mostly,
everything led back to Fannie Lou Hamer. It, certainly, was a great
experience to be able to hug and kiss her and thank her, personally,
for the nationally televised tribute to Mrs. Hamer. That was, indeed,
a spiritual moment for me. So, we embraced for what seemed liked
the longest time. New Jersey's Secretary of State Regena Thomas
had begun working in 2003 to assure the Democratic National Party
honored Fannie Lou Hamer.
Dr. Angelou invited me to join her aboard her customized bus after
the show. She shared with me several tips to keep in mind as I continue
on this journey of shining a light on Fannie Lou Hamer's legacy.
Many thanks to the, estimated, 800 people who came out to
welcome Dr. Maya Angelou, truly a phenomenal woman, to the heart
of the Mississippi Delta and support THE ROAR FOUNDATION, INC.
To see news article from Bolivar Commercial on Angelou's visit, try
"Rainbows In Our Clouds." Angelou led tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer
and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at The Natioanl
Democratic Party Convention in Boston, MA in 2004 in which the
legendary Victoria Gray Adams joined her on stage along with Mr.
Lawrence Guyot, the Rev. Ed King and Mrs. Emma Sanders.
|Dr. Maya Angelou and
Patricia M. Thompson
May 8, 1998.
Sarita Simmons Dr. Maya Angelou MS State Senator Willie Simmons
Delta State University Cleveland, MS December 2004
|Students from Sunflower County Freedom School express their
enthusiasm after seeing Angelou at Delta State University's
Bologna Performing Arts Center December 2004
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(c) copyrighted THE ROAR FOUNDATION, INC. December 2004