Patently the tragic news of Dr. Maya Angelou’s passing is a great loss to her family, fan base and the literature world alike. The news spread today Angelou was found dead at her home this morning by her care taker in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It has been reported that she passed in peace at home around 8:00 a.m. EST.
Maya Angelou was a woman who lived with infinite grace and purpose. She will always be remembered for her humanitarian and civil rights presence, as well as her outstanding scholarly accolades such as, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Still I Rise and On The Pulse Of Morning.
Ms. Maya, who racked up 50 honorary degrees, as well as three Grammy awards, was a true renaissance woman wearing many titles including – Hollywood director and actress, teacher, activist, artist, dancer and probably the most prestige and precious to her – mother.
Her son who took to Facebook earlier wrote:
“Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Guy B. Johnson”
Severe stints of racism, oppression and sexual abuse are a small handful of difficulties Dr. Maya Angelou endured in her lifetime. She was not a victim to her circumstance, but a courageous overcomer whose star shone bright despite all her adversaries – making her by her own words – ‘a phenomenal woman’.
We Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for sharing your God given talent with us all. May you Rest In Peace
– Nicole Baldwin
‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.