Maya Angelou Honored, Passes Away at Age 86

By Lora Neng
May 28, 2014

Beloved author Maya Angelou passed away this morning in her home at the age of 86. Known best for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiographical novel chronicling her suffering childhood rape and racial oppression to find her own dignity in a society dominated by males, she was admired for her lifelong advocacy of civil rights and her personal example of strength and integrity.

Maya Angelou became the first black female cable car conductor in San Francisco, was a teen mother who went on to sealing multiple marriages, and toured as a cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess. She directed the film “Down in the Delta,” and despite dropping out of high school, was bestowed with so many honorary degrees that she came to embrace the title of Dr. Maya Angelou.

In 2013, asked about whether she was optimistic about poetry, she told TIME, “Oh, yes. All I have to do is listen to Hip Hop or some of the rappers.”

She is commemorated by all walks of artists and citizens today, a number of whom felt no one was better suited to provide words of wisdom than from the doctor herself.

Tiara Thomas: “Nothing will work unless you do” thank you for your contribution and inspiration #MayaAngelou

Kanye West, of following in Maya’s footsteps: “That is our responsibility as the modern day artists and poets, to accurately represent what is happening now, so when the powers that be try to rewrite history you can always look at our works and find truth and sincerity in a world of processed information.”

President Obama quoted back Angelou’s line spoken on Nelson Mandela’s death: “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.”

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