Clip of Maya Angelou correcting student for calling her by her first name sparks Twitter debate

What You Need To Know: Maya Angelou

Editor’s note: The young woman in the clip was 20 during her interaction with Maya Angelou. A previous version of this story reported she was 14, citing Angelou’s comments from the video.

Maya Angelou became a trending topic this week when an old clip of her explaining how she should be addressed went viral.

» RELATED: 7 inspiring quotes to remember from Maya Angelou

In the video, which is reportedly from around 1990 interview, a 14-year-old girl calls the poet by her first name while asking her a question about interracial dating.

The late activist thanked the girl before correcting her.

“Thank you,” Angelou said. “And first, I’m Ms. Angelou. I’m not Maya. I’m 62 years old. I’ve lived so long and tried so hard that a young woman like you, or any other, has no license to come up to me and call me by my first name.”

“That’s first,” she continued. “Also, because at the same time, I’m your mother, I’m your auntie, I’m your teacher, I'm your professor. See?”

The snippet began to circulate after Twitter user @PrinceCharmingP uploaded it. He captioned the post, "I can't wait to turn 30 so I can read one of yall for calling me by my first name like this."

Within two days, his tweet had been viewed more than 2.4 million times, and it sparked debates about generational differences and how people should be addressed.

Some said Angelou’s response was harsh. They thought she should have talked to the teen differently.

On the other hand, several defended Angelou and said her reply was appropriate due to her age and legacy.

A few even noted Angelou apologized for her delivery. In another clip that surface, the legend said, “I apologize for being so short.”

And a few believed the arguments were silly and there were bigger issues to discuss.

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