Maya Angelou Remembered as 'Daughter of San Francisco' at Glide Memorial Church

By Christie Smith and Vince Cestone
|  Monday, Jun 16, 2014  |  Updated 9:07 AM PDT
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Maya Angelou always loved the City by the Bay. In fact, in her will, Angelou requested that her public memorial service be held in San Francisco, and on Sunday, more than a thousand people came out to honor her memory. NBC Bay Area’s Christie Smith reports from San Francisco with details on the memorial.

Maya Angelou always loved the City by the Bay. In fact, in her will, Angelou requested that her public memorial service be held in San Francisco, and on Sunday, more than a thousand people came out to honor her memory. NBC Bay Area’s Christie Smith reports from San Francisco with details on the memorial.

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Maya Angelou Remembered as "Daughter of San Francisco"

With tears and laughter, hundreds came together Sunday to remember author and poet Maya Angelou. She was born in the South, but she was remembered as a "daughter of San Francisco." NBC Bay Area’s Christie Smith reports from San Francisco with details on the memorial.
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With tears and laughter, more than 1,000 people came together Sunday at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco to remember author and poet Maya Angelou.

She was born in the South, but she was remembered as a "daughter of San Francisco."

Maya Angelou always loved the City by the Bay. In fact, in her will, Angelou requested her public memorial service be held in San Francisco.

Rev. Cecil Williams spoke directly at the service for his long time friend, Dr. Maya Angelou.

"An unconditional love, if you please," he said. "That’s what we had. It was that kind of love that said, 'Ok, try it. Take a risk. Do something about it.'"

The acclaimed poet and civil rights leader was honored as a member of the Glide community and for her young years spent in San Francisco. The screens showed her visits to the Bay Area and her words.

"To be the first African American street car female driver in our city was a remarkable, remarkable accomplishment," Mayor Ed Lee said. "Remarkable. During the times with her soul, so many barriers, for she broke through it."

And there was laughter. Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown said she often encouraged him by pointing out what he was doing wrong.

"She did it in a loving, embracing spirit," he said. "So much so that you wanted to make sure the next time I ran into her, I didn’t get lectured to again, as I had on other occasions. Maya Angelou was just that awesome."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) also weighed in on Angelou at the memorial.

"A great warrior, a woman, a great truth teller--Dr. Maya Angelou" she said.

An overflow crowd lined up outside to honor Angelou.

"She, like many of us, had their heyday in San Francisco," Marin County resident Katherine Long said. "So, it’s our city too and it's her city, and we love her for it."

"Maya Angelou to me is the poetic head of state," she added.

Others said Angelou was easy to connect with.

"She had a wonderful ability to be a spokesperson for the common person," San Francisco resident Frank Anderson said.

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