Get inside look at the life of Maya Angelou in new film, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Published on
February 22, 2017

Maya AngelouUnion College presents Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise with co-directors Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at Union’s Rector Little Theatre on Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m. Following a screening of the film, the filmmakers will be in attendance for a discussion about the film and their work with the audience. The event is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating reservations are encouraged by emailing uarts@unionky.edu.

Referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” writer and social activist Dr. Maya Angelou encouraged people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had previously. Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise celebrates Dr. Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments.

The film also features a remarkable series of interviews with friends and family including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Secretary Hillary Clinton, John Singleton and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson.

Coburn Whack and Hercules were the first filmmakers to tell Dr. Angelou’s complexed life story in detail. Hercules is a Chicago-based independent filmmaker and co-owner of the production company, Media Process Group. Coburn Whack, owner of RCW Media Productions, Inc., is an award-winning writer, producer and director. The work of both directors has screened at numerous film festivals and PBS.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. South Arts, founded in 1975, is a nonprofit regional arts organization building on the South's unique heritage and enhancing the public value of the arts. Their work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective, through an annual portfolio of activities designed to address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and linking the South with the nation and the world through the arts.

The Southern Circuit Film Tour will continue at Union College during the Spring semester with a showing of The IF Project on April 6. All films are presented free of charge at Union College through a partnership with South Arts, grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts and support from Union College Trustees Janie Skidmore and Shelia Halter.

For more information, or to reserve your seat, please email '; // -->