Nikole Darnell and Professor Angela Jackson-Brown Reflect on Maya Angelou’s Legacy

On February 16th, Ball State held a tribute to author Maya Angelou, who died this past June.  English department faculty Prof. Mark Neely and Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown were both involved in planning the event, and Prof. Jackson-Brown spoke at the tribute.  The English Department asked sophomore English major Nikole Darnell to interview Prof. Jackson-Brown and to reflect on the event.


Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Almost every chair in Ball State’s Student Center Ballroom was full as people from all around packed in, eager to see the tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou that was sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity on Monday February 16, 2015.

While there were numerous Ball State students and faculty in attendance, the program also attracted several outside visitors. For instance, the gentleman sitting next to me said his group traveled from Ivy Tech to see the program.

It is an understatement to say that the tribute was spectacular—it was also beautiful, thought provoking, and, at times, moved me to tears.

Professor Angela Jackson-Brown of the Ball State English Department, one of the speakers at the tribute, graciously made time to speak with me about the event and her love for Dr. Angelou’s work. Professor Brown remembers becoming interested in poetry as a child when her father gave her a book of poems. It was then that she discovered Maya Angelou’s work and “all of these amazing black poets” and “that it was okay for [her] to write and explore [her] feelings through the written word.” It was obvious by the end of the night that Professor Brown was not the only one inspired by Dr. Angelou’s work.

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Release your inner academic at the 2015 DLR Launch Gala!

What is it?

The Digital Literature Review is Ball State’s academic journal.

full gala posterEvery year, those involved in the journal share their hard work at the DLR launch gala. We want you to be there for the release of the DLR‘s second issue: Slavery Now.

Why should I attend?

If you attend, you not only get the opportunity to learn about different forms of modern slavery, but you can also learn about next year’s session of the project and get a free copy of the journal.

During the gala, students will also present their research in individual question-and-answer sessions.

Where is it?

You can find presentations and refreshments in Schwartz Digital Complex, which is located in Bracken Library.

Okay, but when is it?

The event takes place on April 20th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • If you’re interested in contributing to next year’s issue of the journal (Freak Shows and Human Zoos), you can e-mail Joyce Huff (jlhuff@bsu.edu) about becoming a staff member.
  • You can also submit your writing for the 2016 issue of DLR here. And don’t forget about the Digital Literature Review’s blog, which is Freak shows and human zoosaccepting submissions year-round.
  • Last but not least, if you want to be an even better literary citizen, make sure you follow DLR on Twitter and Facebook.