There isn’t enough space in a post to celebrate, honor and pay tribute to the 86-year-old legendary poet, author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. It’s the news you receive and want to fact check over and over again. The gut drop at your office desk, that takes you all the way back to childhood. The mother of all mothers. The little voice that told you a black girl could and did. I had the honor of being in the room as Dr. Angelou received the National Book Awards’ 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community and even from her wheelchair, she exuded both love and power. Angelou wowed no matter how small her frame, her wisdom carried past any stage. Today we are still and solemn, but we chose to celebrate her life, love and wisdom!
The news comes less than a week after announcing she would not be attending the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon where she was set to be honored due to “health reasons.” Angelou’s publicist Helen Brann told CNN the renowned author died at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. Angelou was born April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Annie Johnson.
The “Still I Rise” poet went from being a single mom at the age of 17 to touring Europe as a singer and dancer, then making her literary start joining the Harlem Writers Guild. She was a three-time Grammy recipient and was nominated for a Pulitzer, and an Emmy for her role in the television series “Roots.” In 2011, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor any civilian can receive. Mother Maya lived a full life and we are looking at some of her greatest gems of wisdom.
Hit the flip for 10 iconic images of the beloved poet and words that will always resound.