Upside Down Cake: What Maya was Making the Day King Died
April 4, 1968, Dr. Maya Angelou's 40th birthday, was also the day of MLK Jr'.s assassination. Maya was cooking dinner for friends. She had promised to support King in his fundraising for the Poor People's march, but said it would have to wait until after her birthday.
Decades later, the memory stirs Maya (https://www.inverse.com/article/43273-google-doodle-maya-angelou-connection-to-martin-luther-king-jr).
Her NYC apartment was saturating with smells: Texas chili sans beans, baked ham, candied yams, pineapple upside down cake. She left the dishes to walk to Harlem when she heard the news.
For years afterward, rather than celebrate her birthday, Maya would send flowers to King's widow.
Hear her voice: "On the Pulse of Morning:"
"Couldn't I have done better somewhere? I wish I'd known better so I could have done better." - M.A.