Less than a week before she died, legendary poet Maya Angelou canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball event at which she was to be honored.
MLB named Angelou a Beacon of Life honoree for 2014, and she was to receive the award and speak at a luncheon in Houston on Friday that is related to the Civil Rights Game. MLB vice president and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson passed along a note from Angelou this past week saying that, because of health problems, she could not attend.
Angelou died Wednesday at age 86. Though a cause of death has not been announced, Angelou had been experiencing heart problems.
NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and music pioneer Berry Gordy also will be honored in Houston.
Here's what she said about not being able to appear:
"It is with deep regret that I am unable to attend the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon. I am aware that the Civil Rights Game is Major League Baseball's opportunity to encourage and lead its fans and friends in honoring and remembering a critical time in our nation's history, and I respect the league greatly for recognizing the need for this event. I am very proud to be one of the MLB Beacon Award honorees, amongst an impressive list of figures that were, and still are, part of the civil rights movement."
Keynote speaker, TV's Robin Roberts, will also accept Angelou's award on her behalf.
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