Maya Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, on being her son

Guy Johnson with his mother Dr. Maya Angelou
Guy Johnson with his mother, Dr. Maya Angelou

We’ve gleaned so much from Dr. Maya Angelou. She’s been a mentor, mother and guardian angel to the world. But we often forget that she has her own family. At the age of 16, Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson, gave birth to her pride and joy, son Guy Johnson.

During an interview on OWN, Johnson tells Oprah, “I grew up in her light. Sometimes I wasn’t worthy of it, but it has always been an experience that expanded me.

“She thinks that the divine hand is in all things,” he adds. “She has faith that’s like a rock — you can stand on it. She speaks to our humanity and she reminds us that we are both brother and sister to the rest of the human race.

“Keep on speaking, Ma,” Johnson says. “We need the lessons, the beautiful poems, books, movies, dances, celebrations and love.”

Echoes of a Distant Summer
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Johnson, who completed college in Egypt, is also a writer and poet. After graduation, he managed a bar on Spain’s Costa del Sol, ran a photo-safari service from London through Morocco and Algeria to the Spanish Sahara, and worked on the oil rigs in Kuwait, according to his Random House bio.

Some of his poetry can be found in the anthology of black male poets titled My Brother’s Keeper. Johnson is married, has a son and is a resident of Oakland, California.

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