Celebration to honor Dr. Maya Angelou held in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- She had such love for our city she wanted us to share her memory. Thousands gathered on Sunday in San Francisco for a celebration to remember and honor poet laureate and civil rights leader Dr. Maya Angelou.

So how do you honor a woman who has meant so much to so many people?

"I just feel that she was a great inspiration," said Judith Flynn.

Flynn was one of hundreds pouring into Glide Memorial Church for a service remembering the late Dr. Maya Angelou, a longstanding member of the Glide community since her days as a teenager living in San Francisco.

"And when I read about this," Flynn said. "I thought there was no way I could miss it."

San Francisco resident Vanessa Miller added, "Glide is Maya and May is Glide."

By now, most know Angelou's ties to San Francisco were deep. She grew up in the Fillmore District, graduated from Mission High School, and became the first black female street car conductor before a stint as a performer at the Purple Onion

Sunday service included words by California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who remembered Dr. Angelou as a mentor. Mayor Ed Lee and Angelou's oldest son Guy Johnson also spoke. And former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, in a rare display of humility, joked about how Angelou would often keep him in his place during his time at city hall.

"On every occasion when I interacted with her, she reminded me of what I was doing wrong," he said.

Glide's rousing, spirit-filled choir lead the congregation through an array of gospel songs as parishioners remembered the clever woman with a deep faith and love of humanity.

"We can certainly find a means to better ourselves and better our community, better our world," said San Francisco resident Robert Mitchell.

"If you look at what she's done, listen to what she says, then you should feel like there's no barriers that you can't overcome," Miller said.

Johnson told the congregation his mother had lived many places, but always considered San Francisco her home.
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