Friday Dec 1, 2017
Contact:Crossroads for Women
More events at
Rosa Johnson, niece and archivist of Dr. Maya Angelou, shares stories and insights about her aunt's life and work.
Rosa Johnson, niece and archivist of Dr. Maya Angelou, will share stories and insights about her aunt's life and work at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. This event is free and open to the public although seating is limited.
Rosa Johnson is the niece and archivist of poet Dr. Maya Angelou. Her father, the late Bailey Johnson, is the brother and mentor Angelou writes about in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Johnson herself has embraced a variety of careers and achievements, including the development of a recovery component to a free clinic in the Haight-Ashbury community of San Francisco, working as a substance abuse counselor at Glide Memorial Church, and traveling around the world as hair sculpturist and personal assistant to Stevie Wonder. Her groundbreaking work in African hair design is archived in the Smithsonian Institute under her African name Malikia.
In 1993 following the death of her son, Johnson moved to Winston-Salem to live and work with her aunt. She returned to her education and earned a bachelor’s degree from Salem College. During her time as a student, she interned at the Schomburg Research Library in New York City, where she developed Dr. Angelou’s personal art collection.
Upon graduation, Johnson began full-time work as Dr. Angelou’s official archivist. Working in that role, Johnson executed the assessment, cataloging and transfer of an extensive gift of her aunt’s original material relevant to her archival work.
Johnson has a deep reservoir of stories, poetry and insights gleaned from her own experiences and from her long association with writers and artists around the world.