Another fallen angel people, Award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou has died this morning. She was 86.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and publicist Helen Brann confirmed Angelou was found by her caretaker on this Wednesday morning.
Angelou had been reportedly battling health problems. She recently canceled a scheduled appearance of a special event to be held in her honor.Angelou was also set to be honored with the “Beacon of Life Award” at the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon on May 30 in Houston.
Angelou, one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time, a celebrated poet, novelist, educator, producer, actress, filmmaker and civil rights activist has made great move time after time.
A professor, singer and dancer, among other things, Angelou’s work several different professions. She spent her early years studying dance and drama in California. After dropping out at age 14, she became the San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor.
Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth to her son a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son (can you say Super Women), she acquired a passion for music and dance.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has received over 50 honorary degrees and was Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
Angelou is famous for saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Her list of friends is as impressive as her career. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey referred to her as “sister friend.” She counted Martin Luther King Jr., with who she worked during the Civil Rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her birthday.
Angelou spoke at least six languages, and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. During that time, she wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” launching the first in a series of autobiographical books.
“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” she said.
Angelou was also one of the first black women film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.
Before making it big, the women of many hats worked as a cook and sang with a traveling road show. “Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” she has said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”
We send out condolence to her family. You will be missed Maya Angelou and forever remembered as the phenomenal woman she taught us to be.