michelle obama*First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage at the BET Honors ceremony Saturday evening to introduce poet Maya Angelou. Also in attendance were performers Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey, and other African American celebrities who called the black community to civic action, starting with voting in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The politics-meets-glamour event fits in with the recently ramped up efforts by Obama to help her husband, President Barack Obama, win a challenging re-election bid in November.

Obama, in a crimson, one-shouldered gown, presented the Literary Arts award to Angelou and appealed to the crowd to follow Angelou’s example as an activist.

“It is not enough merely to seek greatness for ourselves, we must help others discover greatness within themselves. We need to reach down and reach out, and give back and lift others,” she said.

Others attending included singers Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin, as well as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The taping of the award show, hosted by Black Entertainment Television was held at the historic Warner Theatre in downtown Washington, DC.

Read/learn MORE at the Chicago Tribune.

michelle obama & maya angelou

Michelle Obama with BET honoree author Maya Angelou Sarurday (01-14-12) in Washington