Downtown post office named after Angelou

Rep. Alma Adams and Maya Angelou’s great granddaughter Caylin Johnson stand in front of Angelou’s plaque at the downtown post office.

Downtown post office named after Angelou
February 23
00:00 2017

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

Center City Post Office was renamed for Poet Maya Angelou during a ceremony with Rep. Alma Adams on Tues, Feb. 21.

Beside the post office’s door is a plaque declaring that the building bears the name of the world famous poet. During the ceremony, Adams described Angelou as the “hometown shero of Winston-Salem” and that the dedication was “a small testament to the big impact that Dr. Angelou had on our community and our nation.”

“I owe my 32 years of legislative service to our fore-mothers like Maya Angelou who worked hard to pave the way for so many of us, to empower us and to help us become the change our communities and our people need,” said Adams.

Angelou, a St. Louis, Missouri, native, was a poet, author and civil rights activist.  She served on two different presidential committees for Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. She became only the second poet in history to read a poem during a presidential inauguration when Bill Clinton was sword-in in 1993. She moved to Winston-Salem and was the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University from 1982 until her death in 2014. In 2015, the post office honored her with a stamp, which was on display during the ceremony.

Last year’s legislation to name the busy downtown post office after Angelou was Adams’ first bill before the full House of Representatives, back when the 12th District she represents contained Winston-Salem. The bill made national headlines when nine Republican representatives from different states voted against it because of Angelou’s support of the late 1950s Communist revolution in Cuba. It passed unanimously in the Senate and went into effect on June 13, 2016. Adams said it had taken a while to schedule the ceremony so a family member of Angelou’s could attend.

Angelou’s great granddaughter Caylin Johnson said the family was grateful for another honor for the renowned poet in the city she loved so much.

“We are truly thankful and humbled for the naming of this post office,” said Johnson.

Mayor Allen Joines also made remarks, recalling phone calls with Angelou, who give him words of wisdom. He thanked Adams for giving Winston-Salem another tangible reminder of one of the city’s greats.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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