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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maya Angelou will speak at 8 p.m. today at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.Angelou, a Pulitzer Prize nominated poet, will speak on behalf of Accent Speaker’s Bureau, Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

“Everyone was in agreement,” Accent chairman Josh Holtzman said. “She is both a role model and activist in the African-American and feminist community.”

The Phillips Center seats 1,700, and Holtzman, a 22-year-old UF history and political science senior, said he hopes to “pack the house.” The free tickets will be distributed at 7 p.m. at the Phillips Center box office.

Angelou’s honorarium is $45,000 and Accent is paying $33,000, Holtzman said. The rest of the money comes from Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

Holtzman said Angelou will touch on topics related to black history and women’s history, in addition to her literary achievements.

During a phone interview Tuesday, Angelou said that throughout her life segregation ended, voting was reformed and social media was created.

“Everything has been a change,” she said.

Angelou said she worked hard to have the life she does.

“I don’t regret anything,” she said.

The next Accent show, on March 12 at the Phillips Center, will feature Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel in celebration of Jewish Awareness Month.

Contact Samantha Shavell at

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