This Black History Month, Listen to Maya Angelou Teach Professional Singer Alicia Keys How to Sing

Illustration for article titled This Black History Month, Listen to Maya Angelou Teach Professional Singer Alicia Keys How to Sing

It's hard to start the weekend off on a snarky note, especially when Maya Angelou started off her third annual Black History Month program on public radio with such sincerity by teaching professional singer Alicia Keys how to sing, thereby proving that none of us should ever stop learning. The AP explained that Angelou's kindly inner didact couldn't resist the opportunity to show Keys something new:

The acclaimed poet and author wants to show Keys, a New Yorker, what "lining out," call-and-response singing that is popular in black churches down South, sounds like.

That teaching moment is one of many during Angelou's third annual Black History Month program, "Telling Our Stories," airing on more than 175 public radio stations nationwide throughout February.

Angelou says she is obligated to share her knowledge and experience with younger people like Keys, in a way that is not "preaching" but gives context to the "human truth."


Remember, once you stop learning you're either dead or you've secretly become a member of the GOP. Intelligent design coloring books for everyone! Other guests on this February's "Tell Our Stories" series include Oprah, whom Angelou has oodles of respect for, Kofi Annan, and Jennifer Hudson. Though this year's special will focus primarily on women in media, next year, the 84-year-old Angelou is hoping to host Common so she can good-naturedly (in the spirit of learning) eviscerate one of Common's poems in front of a poetry workshop of extremely uncomfortable MFA students.

Angelou celebrates black history with Oprah, Keys [AP]

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Alicia Keys doesn't sing, she basically shouts. I know darned well she doesn't know anything about "call and response." She needs to take the advice.