A documentary about the life of Maya Angelou has been in the works for quite some time, but when the world lost one of its favorite poets last year, the creators behind the documentary felt it was time to get it finished.
During the last four years of Angelou’s life, she was working on the film with Rita Coburn-Whack, who served as Angelou’s radio producer from 2006 to 2010. Coburn-Whack then partnered with Bob Hercules, the man behind American Masters: Bill T. Jones, as the director. It was Hercules' job to sort through all the Angelou archives.
Everything from family interviews to appearances by former President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey will be included in the Maya Angelou Documentary, which will air on PBS’ American Masters sometime in 2016. But the filmmakers need help finishing the documentary in time, so they launched a Kickstarter campaign on Monday to raise donations from the public.
“The documentary is not about, ‘Hey, know all the stuff my grandmother did,’” Colin Johnson, Angelou’s grandson, who runs her estate, told Vogue magazine. “It’s in its own right a history lesson. This woman who was born in St. Louis, grew up in Arkansas, no formal education, family had no formal education, raped at a young age, defined her voice, comes back from that, and then defined this amazing other voice that will never be quieted. I mean, the story is inspirational just in a five-second telling of it. Then you go into the details.”
Also contributing to the documentary are others who worked with Angelou during her career, including co-producers Reuben Cannon, who worked on Down in the Delta, and Marquetta Glass, who worked with Angelou on several Hallmark Channel specials, including Spirit Table With Dr. Maya Angelou and Celebrate Christmas With Maya Angelou.
To contribute to the campaign for the documentary, please go to Kickstarter.