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Full transcript here.

Here are some excerpts from coverage by The Guardian:

Obama: Maya Angelou's words 'carried a little black girl to the White House'

Obama said Angelou taught all women that self-worth “has nothing to do with what the world might say”.

“For me,” she said, “that was the power of Maya Angelou’s words, words so powerful they carried a little black girl from the south side of Chicago all the way to the White House.”

Obama added: “She touched me, she touched all of you, she touched people all across the globe, including a young white woman from Kansas who named her daughter after Maya and raised her son to be the first black president of the United States.”

The first lady's nine-minute speech was met with a standing ovation.

She said: “She was the master. For at a time when there were such stifling constraints on how a black woman could exist in the world, she serenely disregarded all the rules with fiercely, passionate unapologetic self.

“She was comfortable in every last inch of her glorious black skin. But for Dr Angelou, her own transition was never enough. You see, she didn’t just want to be phenomenal herself. She wanted all of us to be phenomenal right along side her.

“In so many ways Maya Angelou knew us. She knew our hope, our pain, our ambition, our fear, our anger, our shame, and she assured us that in spite of it all, in fact because of it all, we were good.

“And in doing so she paved the way for me and Oprah and so many others just to be our good old black woman selves.”

Oprah and President Clinton also spoke:

In his speech, Clinton recalled the last time he saw Angelou, a few weeks ago at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

The former president, at whose 1993 inauguration Angelou read her poem On the Pulse of Morning, told her he was surprised to see her out and about.

Angelou replied: “Just because I am wheelchair bound, doesn’t mean I don’t get around.”

Clinton added: “She was without a voice for five years and then she developed the greatest voice on the planet. God loaned her his voice. She had the voice of God and he decided he wanted it back for a while.”

An emotional Winfrey also spoke, to say goodbye to the woman she called her “spiritual queen mother”.

“She was always there for me, to be the rainbow,” Winfrey said.

A profoundly moving memorial for a woman who moved so many of us.

The full memorial service.  
(hat tip to Onomastic)

Originally posted to Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, Support Michelle Obama, and Support the Dream Defenders.

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