In 1965, Meriweather earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Los Angeles. After three years at The Sentinel, he left the paper to become the first African American story analyst at Universal Studios, a job that included reading scripts and providing feedback. Around this time, she also joined the Watts Writers’ Workshop, created collectively by screenwriters. Buddha Schulberg, where he began writing “Daddy Was a Number Runner”. “I remember asking myself: This woman is a great writer. What is she doing in a workshop?” Poet Quincy Troop said in an interview. “She was above everyone else.”
When the troupe reminisces about their friendship, he recounts a moment in which he is convinced that he saved her life. On his way home after reciting the poem, he was stopped and searched by police officers. Meriweather happened to be on the street with a friend who was a lawyer. When he saw the troop, he stopped his car and asked for their badge numbers to interrogate the officers.
“I said, ‘I’ve got your numbers, and he’s my lawyer,’ if they tried to shoot me,” Merryweather said. “It kind of made the situation worse, you know?”
In 1969, Meriweather, who had divorced, returned to New York to care for her ailing mother. As she did in Los Angeles, she worked in New York’s artistic and political scene, starting the Committee for Concerned Blacks, an anti-apartheid group, in 1972, and joined the Harlem Writers Guild, a group whose founders included author John Heinrich. Clarke, Rosa Guy and John Oliver Killens. Her group of friends included other writers, including Maya Angelou and Sonia Sanchez.
“I think the one thing you can get from Lewis is loyalty, support, and undying love for your people,” Hill, her friend and caretaker, said.