Boo to Apple for using a Maya Angelou poem in one of their ads without crediting Angelou

Apple was on the wrong side of history not to credit Angelou, or on the wrong side of the corporate/human divide, which Apple, more than any other company, tries to blur. If they had named her voice, viewers could have sought out Angelou’s books and read her wisdom and hope in this moment when we sorely need both. Apple made a different choice in 2014, when it released its “Your Verse” ad for the iPad, featuring the voice of Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society, who says, “in the words of Walt Whitman” before he quotes Whitman’s poem. Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign, on the other hand, featured a recording of Whitman’s voice without ever naming him. The fact remains that some writers are more vulnerable than others to becoming “anonymous,” and Maya Angelou, for all of her fame and prolific output, falls into two of the most “anonymous” categories as a black woman.

Read more: In the Name of Maya Angelou – Rachel Jamison Webster – posted in “Harriet,” Poetry Foundation  

Note: Angelou is credited in the captions for the audio of the Youtube clip above. If one hears/sees the ad w/out the captions, though, this information is not there. 


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