After Heated Debate, Dr. Maya Angelou Has New Jersey School Named After Her

Posted on June 22, 2016

A new elementary school in New Jersey will be named for author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou. NJ.com reports that the school board spent three months arguing over the name of the new school. Asemblywoman Angela McKnight from Jersey City wanted the school named for President Barack Obama. But she ran into heavy opposition from faculty and administrators of the school in question who had planned for more than a year to rename the school after Dr. Angelou. The existing school is getting a new building, which is what prompted the discussion in the first place.

The school board voted 5-1 to honor Dr. Angelou whom officials call "an intellectual giant." Ms. Angelou died in 2014. She was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She was awarded more than fifty honorary degrees in her lifetime for her literary accomplishments and her work as a civil rights activist. President Obama is so young and he hasn't even left office yet. No doubt he will have many schools named after him in the future.

After her death President Obama said of Dr. Angelou, "Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things - an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller - and her greatest stories were true." He said she was "a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman."
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