Maya Angelou had some final gifts that she wanted to give to a very select group of people. The late poet laureate, civil rights activist and author (pictured), who passed away only last May at age 86, reportedly bequeathed gifts in her will to six very well-known New Yorkers through a trust that was established before her demise, according to the New York Daily News.
Even though Angelou was born in St. Louis, she reportedly had an affinity for everything New York, having moved there in the 60s. She was very drawn by the Big Apple’s charm and all it had to offer. Those beloved friends whom Angelou remembered in her will were considered extended family to her, and she cherished each tie. Angelou remembered songstress and songwriter Valerie Simpson, former Editor In Chief of ESSENCE magazine Susan Taylor, and her screenwriter husband, Khephra Burns. The poet also remembered Tony Award winning choreographer George Faison, Harlem’s Firehouse Theater founder Tedao Schnugg and Altavise Alston, an employee who works at Simpson’s famed Upper West side eatery, Sugar Bar.
Angelou’s estate reportedly included two million-dollar New York City dwellings, a North Carolina estate; her net worth fell somewhere around the $10 million mark. She placed all of her assets in a trust that she allegedly set up before her death, and her only child, Guy Bailey Johnson, was deemed its administrator.
What exactly the “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” author left to her beloved few is a mystery. The Daily News states that what was bequeathed, however, falls under unspecified “personal tangible property.”
Regardless of what was left to them, Angelou’s friends would rather have her back in their lives. Taylor, who spent holidays and special events like birthdays with the Grammy Award winning poetess, told the Daily News, “I still miss her everyday.” Simpson also echoed Taylor’s sentiment and told the news outlet in a choked whisper, “I miss her terribly.”