Lufkin woman remembers her friend Maya Angelou

On Wednesday, Lufkin resident Dorothy Allen Chimney reminisced about the time she spent with Maya Angelou.

"Oh, she was always very compassionate, very energetic, the life of the dinner party because she always had such words of wisdom to share,"  Chimney said.

Chimney got the chance to know Angelou because the two of them ran in the same circles. Chimney said she first met Angelou at the National Council of Negro Women. In the summer of 1997, Chimney was fortunate enough to be a guest in Angelou's home. Chimney fondly remembers the pictures she took in Angelou's garden.

"In her home, she had a couple of full stature black woman made of stone in her back yard," Chimney said.

Chimney and others were there to talk business.

"She brought together the organizations that were members of the National Council of Negro woman, and the idea was to strategize on an idea about a building that would serve as a research and education center for African American woman," Chimney said.

Chimney added Angelou had a way with words, and she shared her favorite quote.

"'Still I rise. Still I rise.' Then hearing her say it and how she used it to compare other things gave me chills," Chimney said.

Chimney's niece, Angelina College English professor Valencia Edner, has also felt Angelou's presence. She said poems like 'Phenomenal Woman' and 'For My Grandmother' really spoke to her.

"It really made an impact on my sense of self," Edner said.

After studying her words, she wanted to share them with others.

"Which gave me the desire to want to make sure that every young woman that I came in contact with understood who they could be," Edner said.

Both woman said that, although Angelou is gone, she will live on through the rich legacy she has created.

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