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Dr. Angelou, I knew you as a gentle and gracious individual. Your absence will not lessen your presence. RIP.
I saw you only once when you came to Phoenix to speak at the Black Women’s Taskforce Seminar. I was so impressed by your openness and candor..the way you conveyed your message. You, were a gift to the world. It is with sadness that I was unable to watch your memorial service initially, for on the day that you left, my sister did too. Like you, she was a tall striking woman with a commanding presence. It is in my heart that you, reached back and called to my sister, to come and join you. Thank you, for ALL that you have been and done.
You are a blessing, an angel who graced us all for a while. You have left us with enriched personal lives, and this world a better place.
You have earned your wings, fly away and rest in eternal peace.
When I was informed that Dr. Maya Angelo died I quickly bent down on my knee. Again I thanked God for the lives she positively influenced during her career. When bowed on my knee I knew I had joined a mass of people in the heavens and in the earth that deemed Dr. Maya Angelou worthy of honor and God worthy of reverence for having created her in his image: one who is far reaching in impact, broad in span of control, exacting in measurement. of words syntax. (excerpt of longer tribute). May her biological and grafted-in family be comforted by the Spirit of God and the power of her legacy. Thank You Family and Wake Forest University for embracing her and sharing the celebration. Love, Dr. Vapordeal Sanders
Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou for being such an inspiration in my life. I thank God for all that she shared with all of us, about this world we live in. Dr. Maya Angelou will never be forgotten.
I cried at this joyful service for a great Woman of God, Now I know why the caged bird sings. I loved Dr. Angelou for giving me a reason to feel good about being me!
Dr. Jay Macklin, Wilmington, DE
Stop the Violence Coalition, Executive Director
A beautiful soul, with many words of wisdom & encouragement. Dr. Maya Angelou will live on in the lives of others forever.
I have always admired Maya Angelou and will miss hearing her speeches. Get some rest now Dr. Angelou. Heaven waits for your arrival.
Another great voice has been hushed from our hearing. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Dr. Maya Angelou when she visited East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. It was then that I purchased a copy of her book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. She was loved and admired by and inspired many.
You will be so dearly missed. As I think of how you exemplified the very essence of a PHENOMENAl woman….my heart is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving! Your writings inspired me, challenged me and propelled me to push for the best that I have to offer. Well done Dr. Maya Angelou…well done!
Rest In Peace Queen!
Dr. Maya Angelou,
you have inspired me over the yrs. You often reminded me of a great woman by the of Lucile Elliott she was my grandmother, and she stood for everything, education and respect. You’re truly be missed by all who knew and loved you. Rest peacefully in heaven.
I remember meeting Dr. Angelou for the first time at our first National Advisory Board Meeting of the Maya Angelou Center for Minority Health now the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity. She invited all of the board members and the staff from the Center to her home for fellowship and dessert. Dr. Angelou never met a stranger. Upon meeting her, she quickly touched my hand and brought me close so that she knew who I was and to tell what a pleasure it was to know me. Working with Ms. Clay and her staff over the years, made me feel like I was a part of the family. Thank you Dr. Angelou for your legacy and for the phenomenal woman that you are. Thank you Johnson family for sharing her with us. She will be missed but never forgotten.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
You were the rainbow in many of our clouds. Your words were God given and inspired nations….not only during your 86 years with us…..but throughout eternity. I would love to say take your rest…..but you are probably sharing with the angels. I miss your presence in this world.
What an awesome tribute to a GREAT woman who made everyone feel like they can soar. Thank you Johnson Family for sharing her life with the world. Thank you Michelle Obama for your heartbelt speech and for reminding us of who we are thru the words of Maya Angelou. Thank you Oprah Winfrey and OWN for this memorable event (otherewise i never would have had an opportunity to be a part of this celebration of life. Although I didn’t personally know her, she left an impression on my heart to want to do more for the kingdom.
In my Senior year of high school you were my inspiration to write poetry. I have written 2 books and had them copyrighted but never published. Nevertheless you were my IDOL. You will be missed but always remembered.
You have been such an inspiration to many, young and old. Such a great person who contributed so much if her life to helping others. Thanks Dr. Angelou.
What a blessing you have been to little black girls and all little girls all over the world. I read ” I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and it awakened my heart. Also, if Oprah Winfrey had not read it, she might not have become who she is today! I know I am the better for it. “When you know better, you do better!”
If I could fulfill a wish: Every English Class would have every child exposed to the works of this global woman- Dr. Maya Angelou. Her book: Words of Love is one of my favorites. I feel blessed that my family was exposed to her work. She has empowered so many that I am assured that their lives will be forever changed in a positive way. Thanks to her son and the entire Angelou family for sharing her with all of us. May God continue blessing all of you.
LOVE. It is like air. We breathe it in, and we breathe it OUT.
Rest In Peace Dr. Maya Angelou: As a small girl from Pine Bluff, AR I remember meeting you for the first time as you spoke at one of my first professional conferences in Nashville,TN. I ran to the stage after your presentation was finished, and you allowed me to have a photo taken with you. It has become one of my favorite keepsakes. THANK YOU for all the inspiration and encouragement you have given me over my life through your writings, music, dance, films and personal testamonies via television. My favorite brag is; you know Maya Angelou is my “Homegirl”…. She grew up a few miles down the road in Stamps, AR.Your legacy will continue to impact my life. See You in the Morning….Joyce Bracy Vaughan, Pine Bluff, AR
You were a blessing to all thank you for all you showed to us in many ways.
I loved your words you always wrote for all to read and to see how things you wrote would touch someones life in some way, this was god’s gift to you to share with all and that you did.
On of my favorite saying i love to use when losing someone a family member or a friend or just to thous i know.
One of life most precious treasures are the beautiful memories we leave behind in the hearts or family and friends this no one can every take away.
So to the family enjoy these precious memories she has given to you and take comfort in all the beautiful memories she gave each one of you.
Dear Maya, You turned my world upside down when I found you. Again it is spinning as you leave this realm. My words don’t seem to be holding the weight of my emotion. So I must hastily leave this note and pray that you can understand my souls sadness. I will continue to write, hearing your powerful voice echoing in my mind. Rest dear Maya, your work here is done. Namaste.
As a child my soul was quieted and held in a cage until you released it in “I know Why The Caged Bird Sing”. Every word you ever penned kept the wind beneath my wings and a melody in my heart. Thank you for your life long contribution of uplifting the human spirit Dr. Maya Angelou, R.I.P.
We are all phenomenal because of You, Our Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10, 29-31)
there’s a new angel in the sky! dr. maya angelou. may your words inspire all people always.
Thank you for blessing us with your teachings.
Maya was fully herself demonstrating, teaching each of us to live our lives fully with purpose, passion, confidence and love. A special, special woman who spoke to the hearts and souls of many as if she were speaking to each.
Oh faithful servant, job well done, your words, your love, your smile lives on within each of us who had the privilege of knowing you. Your legacy: You made the world a better place.
One of many women, I wanted to meet. Somehow I believe I have through her work. Her love of lyrical expressions and dance.. life..people and of course God. Like most of us, we can say she was one amazing woman, a woman of character, style and pose. I call her Queen Poetess. In my heart, I pray to become well known as a poetess. She has inspired me and so many others. She will be missed, she left an imprint, she left a legacy of greatness. Her LOVE. She has earned her Wings.
What an amazing women you have taught so many life lessons. There will never be another you bless you and fly with the angels! Blessings and love to your family as well.
To the family, my sincere condolences. I wish I had met the marvel of a woman and teacher that was, and always will be, Dr. Maya Angelou. A true pioneer and legendary spirit was she –an undeniable, incontestable, unwavering force. Her life’s story, her very essence, bears witness to an irrevocable truth; for, in each of us, irrespective of circumstance, is the capacity to fulfill the greatness of our God-given purposes, fingerprinted on our souls and fortified in common humanity. Through the power of one voice, Dr. Angelou raised the consciousness of millions. She not only urged each of us to aspire to our better enlightened, dignified selves but to recognize and celebrate the common bond we have to one another. Through the everlasting works of Dr. Angelou, we all become her students many generations over. Let the world never forget Dr. Maya Angelou, her life a living testament, her teachings wisdom profound, her spirit transcendent.
Thank you for all your words of Wisdom. I will miss you.
Rhonda E. Ruben
An Angel Indeed, Inspiration To Me, To The World! Thanks For Sharing Your Wisdom And Your Love With The World, R.I.P Dr. Maya Angelou You Will Be Missed!
Fly home Dr Angelou
I was so happy to be in your presence and feel your strength
and love fill the room
Your books and your words have healed so many
and have shown us the way
Dr. Maya Angelou’s voice, courage, and approach to love and respect were powerful beyond measure. She is a world treasure that will continue to uplift humanity for generations to come. Thank you.
As a resident of Winston-Salem, I have lost a neighbor: someone I saw in the Grocery Store or Christmas Shopping. Someone who once served me gravy at one of her famous Thanksgiving Dinners.
As a leader, I have lost the avatar who repeatedly reminded me (us) “courage is the virtue without which all other virtues are impossible. ”
As a mother, I have lost someone whose imposing presence rendered my young son speechless.
As a reader, I have lost the weaver of stories: stories that captured life in all it’s complexity while inspiring hope.
As a lover of music and theater, I have lost that full throated, unashamed voice, a voice that lifted the songs of my people AND the drama of the ancient Greeks.
As a teacher, I have lost one who never doubted the capacity of every human being to be changed and to do good.
As a human being, I have lost the one who reminded us. “I am human, nothing human is alien to me. ”
And yet I have gained so much.
I celebrate a life.
I will not mourn.
We give thanks for the light Dr Angelou shared so freely. We must walk in that light and be light to others.
Good night, Courageous Queen.
Your rest is well deserved.
My deepest condolences to Guy and to Rosa
Gratitude to our Lord for being able to live in a time where I can say that my life was touched by the teachings of Dr. Maya Angelou—-a true gift from God. Thank you, Thank you!
When I think back on the time Maya Angelou was born and all the ugly pit falls she had to go through and deal with, it reassures me that one person can make a difference with God on their side. I am so inspired with the concept that courage is the greatest virtue, without courage we cannot exercise the others. That is so true, because without courage we’ll except whatever is happening at that time and not do anything to make a difference. Credos to Maya for not being a coward soldier. God cannot use you if your afraid to go. I am so grateful for the courage and faith Maya had in her God that allowed her to be a voice for others. With her life being so open to the world and media, I respect how she allowed the positive energies define who she was. In spite of all she had to endure, we witnessed no complaining or negative undertones. WOW! what a woman. I pray I can continue to follow in her footsteps. And allow that beacon light to shine in my life for others to see. Jesus said in the “Word”, “let the life that I live speak for me”. God Bless
You’re my heroine.
I heard Dr. Angelou speak last year and I was amazed at her chrisma and wisdom. She let something with me that I have carried with me since then and I pray it stays with me forever. “Be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud”. Thanks God, for lending your voice and spirit to such a beautiful soul that did all she could to remind us that you loved us!
I did not have the opportunity to meet you here on earth. I will meet you one day. With Our Lord That will be a glorious time. I live here accordingly so that I may go home as so many others before me can/will go home to be with Our Father who art in HEAVEN. Amen
As an English teacher of sophomores, each year I could never wait until I had the opportunity to teach “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” It’s such a powerful book and so full of life lessons. One year I decided to HOPEFULLY surprise the students. A couple of months ahead of time I took a chance and wrapped up and mailed two of my books of poetry by Ms. Angelou.I had gone online and found an address for Wake Forest and off it went. TO MY ABSOLUTE ASTONISHMENT, I had BOTH back autographed to me in LESS than a week. I stood there, holding them to me, and just cried. I did. I truly did. What a grand and glorious memory. I still remember going to class and showing them!! Thank you Ms. Angeou. I gained so many insights from you. Every time I knew you were going to be on tv I always had my recorder on and a pen and paper beside me as I KNEW I would have lots of words of wisdom to get down!!!!!!! My all-time favorite: “Words are things. . .” How right you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being yourself – always. Now you have a new audience in Heaven.
I loved you more than words can say. RIP angel from above!!!!
You were and still are an inspiration to all women all over the world, Thanks for being there for us.
Dr. Maya had such a far reach, leaving lasting & life-changing fingerprints on people’s lives without the need for a physical touch. Missed. Revered. Loved. Eternal.
Such an amazing Woman – she triumphed over a many of things, and skipped across many stones, flew a many flights, to rise above and become such an inspiration, such a warm and inviting spirit. The breath of her voice and the power of her words have traveled far and wide and will continue to be a part of all of us. Thank you Dr. Angelou for being. I pray for peace, love, happiness to the family and thank you for sharing. My condolence and blessing to all of you.
She was an American Treasure and a voice for Equality for all humankind. It’s truly touching how one person can touch you life forever. I attended a women’s conference just to get to hear her speak. I did not even care if I was the only man in the room. I have all her books and will cherish them for the rest of my life and a voice that will live on forever. I want to thank her family for sharing her with the world. We are a better for her gifts. May God bless the family and her memory.
This remembrance goes back to 1962-64. It was a time when African Americans left the USA often going either to Tanzania (as Randall Robinson[TransAfrica], Vida Gaynor and son, Dennis, Bob Moses [Algebra Project] and wife, Mae Mallory, and Sister Charlotte O’Neal and husband and others) or to Ghana (Tom and Muriel Feelings, Julian Mayfield, Jim and Nannette Haralson Lacy, Carlos Austin, Leslie Lacy, Frank, the Overseer of the community, Alice Windom and her Y Hostel roommate, Maya Mackey and her son, Guy, then a teenager. Among the freedom fighters President Nkrumah welcomed was an extraordinary painter, Selby Mvusi. Maya and Alice were roommates at the Y where Guy also lived as a teenager. I was teaching in Lagos but spent all my holidays with them in Accra eating at the excellent popular Y cafeteria at lunch as Ghanaians did. I was later able to assist in getting diplomatic support in Ghana for Brother Malcolm through the High Commissioner from Nigeria to Ghana, Alhaji Isa Wali. It was an interesting 2 years. My sympathy pours out to Guy but also to her old roommate, Alice Windom of St. Louis.
Rise, Sister Maya!
Ann Cook at the time (I sent a message to her just weeks ago through my doctoral committee member, the now late Dr. Vincent Hardings, who was spending a week at Wake Forest.) Now both stalwarts, as well as Elombe Brath and Sam Greenlee made their transition at around the same period. May there be more and more that flower in our world of such need! tk
Dr. Maya have fought the good fight, and finished your course, laid up for u a crown. Rest in God’s precious arms my wonderful sister in Christ.
June7th,2014 at 5:17pm
Dr Maya Angelou
You have been an inspiration to all of us black and white , pink blue and brown
May you memory lives on
God bless you
Thank you for your legacy
A personal thanks to Dr. Maya Angelou, and a special thanks for all of your great works and sayings…you are still a big inspiration to me. And so I shall keep on writing, Amen
With gratitude, a profound Thank You!
Thank you for being a genuine human being with enough life and love to share with the world. Your life and legacy speak volumes for what it means to be authentic. You will be missed but remembered always.
‘Phenomenal Woman’ indeed who inspires me.
“There is always one who will remind me of elegance and grace,
One who will empower me to continue the race.
I found this in you so long ago,
When I had no hand to latch on and follow.
You are amazing and gentle, as could be,
You graced the entire world with your positive energy.
You lit up darkness as with the Light of the Messiah,
You are as the mist in the air, My Dear Maya…. Tracy J Washington
Dr. Maya Angelou has been an inspiration to me since I was in Junior High School. She reinforced my love of both the spoken and written word and was an wavering light encouraging me to ever press for. Her poem ” I Rise ” has not fallen on deaf ears. Thank you Dr. Angelou and many thanks to her family for sharing her with the world.
I am in awe, because I have a role model that I can give to my kid and others I love because she dared to write and to teach and because I live in an age where things can be captured on film and shared.
They Are Not Dead Who Live
In The Lives They Leave Behind.
They Live A Life Again
As The World Celebrates Their Good,
Forgets The Rest…
And Declares Their IMMORTALITY!
Lala Mpenzi (Sleep Darling)
Lala Salama (Sleep Well)
Kwa Kheri Mama Maya Angelou (Farewell Mama Maya Angelou)
Tutakutana Bandarini Kule (We Shall Meet On That Beautiful Shore)
Thank You For Being You;
A Phenomenol Woman!
Now Rest From The Labours
Away From The Cares
Hustles And Bustles Here- In
The World Celebrates Honours And Salutes
Adieu M’ma Angelou!
May Your Soul Truly REST IN ETERNAL PEACE
Maya opened the door for today’s black writers, journalists, film producers and broadcasters.
I too grew up in the segagated south where the only ocupations open for black were manual labor jobs. Gos bless your memory. I Rise I Rise
Dr. Maya Angelou gave so much of herself…never asking for anything in return. I believe she was more than a Phenomenal Woman…she was anointed by God. I am just one of the many who have been inspired by her tremendous body of work, kind spoken words, and enormous heart. I will always remember how just reading your books, articles, and/or hearing her speak, would lift me up from moments of despair. My heart is full of gratitude to the family for sharing this memorial service and I will forever cherish this moment…Namaste*
To All The Family of Maya Angelou
And Friends And Lives she touched and will touch in the future.
She was a child of God. Jesus said he would go and prepare a place
for us and come and receive us again. She is now at home.
May she rest in peace until that great day when the trumpet blows
for eternity.1 Thes 4: 13-18 Rest in Peace Sister With Love.
Dr. Maya Angelou touched so many lives including my very own. She was a great mentor, philosopher, mother, lover, teacher and friend to all that had the pleasure of knowing her. What a phenomenal woman she was. Her life will be a beacon of light for everyone too see. With that said, I leave this message, ” Little did we know that morning that God was going to call your name. In Life we loved you dearly and in death we’ll do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, though you did not go alone. For part of us went with you… the day God called you home. You left us precious memories, your love is still our guide… And though we cannot see you,.. You Dr, Maya Angelou will always be by our side”. Well done thy good and faithful servant. You will be truly missed.
Another Angel with Wings……..R I P Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou’s voice lives on, in the hearts of all who have heard, or will hear and read her words. She is the World’s past and its future. As generations are fueled by her passion and love they too will forge their own courage.
This is her legacy to us Love, Faith, Courage and the Passion to live life and share it with others in the form of service.
Thank you Wake Forest University for Live streaming Dr. Maya Angelou’s Memorial Service
Thank you for your gift of words. By simply being you, you’ve allowed me to be me.
~Blessings from Beloit, WI
To Dr. Maya Angelou’s family I want to express my condolences, for the joy Dr. Angelou shared with me, my family – indeed the world – I know her Spirit has indeed risen.
My mother, Theresa, went to high school with Marguerite Johnson (Maya Angelou) in San Francisco, performed in choirs and school plays and went to dances at the Booker T. Washington Community Center across the street from my grandparents, Mr. & Mrs Butler’s home on Baker Street. Mr. Butler, a WWII veteran, began working as a porter for the Southern Pacific Railroad along the North-South corridor from San Francisco to Chicago. Because of constant travel away from home, Mrs. Butler was a housekeeper. It was about 1945 when Theresa and Marguerite met and spent time together gossiping about boys during slumber parties. It wasn’t long before the poodle skirt fad and “Got a Penny Benny”, by the Nat King Cole Trio attracted their attention. The Mathis family lived just a few blocks down Baker Street where, at the time, mostly Colored people lived, Civil Rights wasn’t thought of, and shopping at City of Paris and other department stores was so difficult that they endured harsh criticism for their pressed hair, skin color and failed attempts at crossing the segregation threshold.
During my childhood I would see Maya Angelou periodically, mostly at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, she often responded with a smile and she would say, “I know you”. She had a tremendous influence on me, I wrote to her for many years and she frequently responded, each time I felt a renewal, a special recognition to carry on. After her book releases I stood in long lines to get her autograph, greeting me with a smile she asked about my grandmother all the while I stood mesmerized by her incredible spirit.
A family elder once taught me that the spirit never dies. A champion of social justice, a creative and intellectual hallmark, Dr. Angelou’s poetic voice will live forever. And I will never forget her. I love you Dr. Maya Angelou!
I have shed many tears since hearing the news of your passing. You reminded me of my sweet, beautiful Grandmother. Your profound words, your strength, your wisdom, your LOVE … just like her. I am thankful for all that you gave while here on earth, I am honored to have been able to experience your homegoing and I am THRILLED to know you and my Grandmother are in Heaven sharing stories.
Rest in Heaven Beautiful PHENOMENAL Woman
I met Maya in the late 60’s at a family/sister ’round the kitchen table gathering. when she entered the room i saw a giant= magnificent, loud spoken, fun and heartfelt woman ten years older than myself. i was a friend of the family…blessed to be invited…i knew then that i too, a white woman, belonged to her family. i have followed her faithfully all these fifty years and one day i too will follow her to where she is now…once we meet a phenomenal woman…well, we become that…deepest love and blessings to all of us who chose to be her family.
Thank you, Dr. Angelou for your kind words during your visit to Virginia State University during my freshmen year. Your being influenced me in so many ways. I’m so grateful that God had our paths to cross. Rest easy..See you when I get there!
I had the pleasure of writing Dr. Maya Angelou after reading her first book when it was released and she wrote me back with a wonderful statement on a post card that I will cherish for life. We have her memories on audio and video to share with the next generation to come. May her wishes live on. R.I.P. as I know that she will.
The new angel Dr. Maya Angelou.
Dr. Maya Angelou you have been an inspiration in my life. I thank you for the legacy you have left. You will truly be missed.
Rest In Heaven Dr. Maya Angelou your word will forever be apart of my life.
Remembering Maya today.
I greatly admired Maya Angelou. I never got a chance to see her in person but; it would have been a joy to have sit down with her and talk with her. A good person has gone but in our hearts Ms. Angelou will be. The Bird Cage will sing on in each of our hearts……….
To the family of Dr. Angelou from me and my family we send our heartfelt and deepest condolences for the loss of you Beloved. Thank you allowing her public “family” to mourn with you. Please know it is with a grateful heart that we appreciate you allowing us to love, remember, and mourn along side you all. Thank you for sharing her with us for all of her days.
We Honor you Dr. “Miss” Maya, thank you for all you gave us. We love you and will miss you. I thank God for the Blessing of you, your words, your shared love, and for making this world a brighter place by gracing it with you.
With a heavy heart but a soaring spirit I say with love … Rest in Power Sister.
on behalf of the The Willis / Willis-Starbuck /Ward/ Castro/Redman /Warren/Nelms Family
What a life…what a spirit…what a human! My heart aches and yet I feel blessed to have had a woman like Maya Angelou to inspire me. She showed me I wasn’t alone in the painful memories and scars of my childhood but that it would NOT define who I was but inspire me to do something with that pain. So, she…Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, my abuelita, my Tia’s and my mother…all have been examples to me of strong, phenomenal women that have just lived their lives…did what they had to do and under such challenging circumstances…to pave the way with grace, dignity and strength…they are my she-roes. So along the journey of my life I have become a teacher and yet I learn from my students…I give to my students and yet I get from them more than I deserve. Her words have so touched my life…and lastly these words guide my life…If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t, change your attitude.
I celebrate the life and legacy of my Shero! Thank you for allowing the world to share in remembering her. Today is my 50th birthday, and I am filled with gratitude to spend a part of this day with all of you. Thank you, Sister Maya, for the profound gift of your life!
Dr. Angelou, you are our angel in the sky. Your books grace my bookshelf and your spirit my mind. I wish you heavenly joy.
Our rock may have moved on to higher destination, but she has left us a concrete foundation on which to build our success. Thank the Lord for allowing us to enjoy Dr. Maya Angelou.
I loved Maya so much that I named my daughter Maya. She will be missed. A Phenomenal Woman has gone home.
To the family of Maya Angelou;
I first read “I know why the caged bird sings” in the late 1970s. Its message helped me overcome the abuse that I had suffered as a child. I began to read everything about her and by her that I could get my hands on. Her strength, her resolve, her compassion, her passion have all inspired me to become more than I might have been. She taught me to forgive and then live. I have seen what a crippling debility not forgiving can do to a person’s own life. Of all the wisdom she ever shared the most important thing for me has always been and will always be “when people show you who they are, believe them.” May she rest in peace now.
A Wonderful Black Inspiring Woman – Dr. Maya Angelou. I heard her speak in the early ’80s and I missed the opportunity to get her signature on my books of poems and copy of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” due to long lines, but I will never ever forget the moments I heard her speak. I have introduced her works to my seven granddaughters. Her words will live on and on and on!
REST!!!! (Just a Closer walk with God!)
I am a retired educator from Detroit Public Schools. Dr. Angelou came to Saginaw Valley State University and spoke. We brought a bus load of students from the city. We traveled a little of over two hours to hear her speak and she did not disappoint us. A tall stately angel is what I recall of that day as she was genteel as she address each of our students.
To be blessed to have been in her presence and to know what impact she had upon those poor liitle Black children. I thank our Lord Almighty for her that day. I grieve for our legend and the pain her family and close friends must feel at her demise.
To her son, I thank you for sharing your mother with us, the world.
Thank You God, for this phenomenal woman spoken of in Proverbs 31. May You, Father continue to bless us with others and may we always honor them while they live. Help us Father, to become phenomenal women as you would have us to be. In the Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Thanks for you and everything about you. Find my mom and let her know how much we loved and miss her, she’ll enjoy your company.
What a mind, what a spirit, what a talent, what a blessing! Because of her, many of us “rise.”
Maya Angelou, I LOVE YOU. I can’t help it!!! Because your grace, dignity, wisdom, beauty, and example have taught me much. I am pleased and proud to have your portrait hanging on my living room wall along with Martin, Malcom, and Mandela. My FOUR M’s are in heaven together forever celebrating each other and all who strive to be better people with love because of them. you’ve earned your rest and are the most beautiful rainbow in my cloud.
Thank you, Maya, for being such a force of American history. You reflect, reflect on, and refract the best that is in and arises from the worst of America over the last many years.
Thank you, my angel, for initiating my mind and inspiring me for the better in my life!
Maya Angelou, Grace, purpose, example, humble, love, compassion, teacher, Godly, funny, passion and passionate, and I could go on and on. How is it that my heart can rejoice and hurt at the same time. I will never forget your teachings of life and its gifts. The importance of rising above your circumstance. Maya, thank you for so many nuggets of wisdom. Your straight talk, the flow of your words and poetry. I feel like I have lost a member of my family. I will never forget your ease in loving, forgiving and sharing. Maya, say hi to my mother Geneva.
When I was 9 years old, I heard Maya Angelou read “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, and I thought she had to be the most important and brilliant writer on Earth. Later, when I had a CD-ROM encyclopedia, I would listen to the recording of the poem over and over. I gobbled up everything I could of hers, because her style was unlike anything else. The beauty of her language and the power of her messages make her such a singular voice in poetry, and her work has been a source of strength to me, creatively and personally.
Being able to watch her memorial has really meant a lot to me, because when you don’t know a hero personally, it can be hard to say goodbye. Thank you to her family and friends for letting us share this; the grace, depth and humor with which you spoke about Dr. Angelou has touched me. Thank you for saying that she loved everyone, because I truly have felt loved through her poetry – that is one of her many gifts.
The River sang and sings on.
Come on Jesus… Let it be… thank you for your wisdom, courage and most of all being a Woman of God. Well done my good and faithful servant….
What a wonderful poet and amazing woman. We are very grateful to her family for streaming the service.
America has truly loss a wonderful woman. Words can’t express how much of an impact she has left on many lives. I’m going to miss that superb way of speaking, her wonderful smile and sense of humor. My prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends for God’s comfort. R.I.P. Maya Angelou. You were so loved!
Dr. Maya Angelou possessed one of the most gifted minds to ever grace the universe.
Thank you for all your Beauty and Wisdom. I first read your wonderful works as a teenager and I was totally hooked… You made me a better woman through your lovely words… Thank you and I will meet you in Heaven!!
A soul who lived so well remains forever with us.
With Heartfelt Sympathy
Dr. Maya Angelou was truly a Phenomenal Woman. I have read her books, watched her interviews, recited her poetry, and listened to her words of wisdom throughout my life. I thank her for all of her direct, teachable moments. Dr. Angelou never spoke empty rhetoric. Thank you for demanding that little black girls rise to the occasion and for setting a positive example for all to follow.
The most influential person I have known, watched, heard. We should never forget her. I will always read and speak her words. She was a part of my life and I loved her. The Phenomenal woman.
Rest In Peace and talk about us every now and Then.
Remembering an extraordinary being, a grand poet, and voice of the people.
Travel well… and forget-me-not!
Maya Angelou taught me so many things. They are too numerous to account but she also taught the importance of quietude! She was simply the best! Rest well Dr. Maya Angelou…
Your writings & phrases have touched my heart for many years. When I needed to hear the bottom line truth they were there to keep me encouraged & as well as keep my eye on the prize. I will truly miss you & I love you from the bottom of my heart. Rest in paradise, Dr. Angelou
“When people show you who they are….believe them.” Such true and powerful words from an immeasurable literary presence.
Dr Angelou, your words have inspired me, changed me and saved me. Thank you so much for sharing your life.
Love. Happiness. Integrity. Purpose. Dr. Maya Angelou.
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
:: Khalil Gibran, On Death
“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” changed my life’s naive perspective. From the brutality of racism, the trauma of rape and high school motherhood, God was cultivating in her, a Phoenix that rose from the ashes of life’s cruel circumstances. Dr. Maya’s book gave me strength, determination, pride and solice as a young Black woman. With love and appreciation, I thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou; Godspeed❤️
Remembering Ms. Maya with love and adoration for all the words and expressions she has left for us. Ms. Maya created the template for motivating and empowering our thoughts and our lives and we are forever grateful for the “Teaching Moments” of the life she led.
I am so grateful for Dr. Angelou. I as a young black girl living in Indiana was told by a teacher that I belonged in the wild with animals. I felt dumb and lost. I heard this powerful poem and it sparked curiosity in me to go to the library. I was introduced to the works of Dr. Angelou. Her books let me see myself broken but not hopeless. Through her I was able to see that I was, am a Child of God and was capable. I dreamed and read and over came the reading struggles and most importantly I overcame the lie I was told and went on to college. I had children and created a environment for them to love reading and inspire to dream big. I loved her because God used her as a vessel to show a lil’ black girl that she was not alone and that she was capable to do anything she set her mind to. I was grateful to here this was going to be broadcasted .I had hopes that I would be able to allow my daughter to see what a living angle was. I thank you family for sharing and I thank you Dr.Angelo for sharing your life and inspiring mine.
Dr. Maya Angelou your beacon of light has became a great inspiration to us all you and a phenomenal woman. Farewell and R.I.P.
Thank you, Dr. Angelou, for touching my life, emboldening my soul and strengthening my heart. You ARE a Treasure and evidence that ONE life can create change.., a Beautiful Model and Reminder.
Her great mind inspires me. I feel thankful, blessed and courage.
Today I am sadden by the loss of someone that I did not know intimately. But I am thankful to God that you shared your life and your creative gifts with the world. Today I am also reminded of a song entitled, ” May the works I’ve done Speak for Me.” I think this is a very befitting song for the remarkable work you have done and the enduring legacy you have left the world to treasure.
Thanks for the life you led ,your star will always shine in our lives.R.I.P.
I read I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS for the first time in third grade, back in the early 80s. It was given to my by a teacher in an attempt to shame me because she felt I wasn’t ready for chapter books. As an 8-9 year old, most of the book was way beyond my level, as I literally expected it to be about birds. However, the 7 year old Maya assured my 8 year old self and let me know I too would be ok.
Maya Angelou was always a strong voice in what could at times feel like a raging storm. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting her, I did get to hear her speak and I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to roam the Earth at the same time as this incredible human being
Forever in my heart, rest safely in His arms, Dr. Maya Angelou.
Listen! In the silence you can hear her…
The closest I got to meeting her was when she showed up in a dream once.
It’s amazing the support we can get from people we never meet.
Rest in Peace Beautiful Lady.
Dr Maya Angelou, you were a great figure in the American history and all other world. As a teacher in a senior high school in Paris, France, I worked on some of your poems with my French students. They liked a lot your poetry. You positively influenced me as well as lots of other people. Thanks Dr Angelou for sharing with us your great inspirations. Still you will RISE. RIP.
Maya, Your words breathed life, wisdom ,and insite into my life. I will honor your legacy by passing your works forward. You will forever live in my heart.I am being Tonya, Miss Maya.I am being Julian and honoring and remembering you.Sister Friend.
In my 53 years of life as a professional musician (sax player) and avid traveler with my wife of 18 years, I have been blessed to perform for and meet true giants in. African American history, from MLK III, Rep. John Lewis, and Rev. Joseph Lowery. We stand on the shoulders of many other giants especially Dr. Maya Angelou who epitomizes grace, wisdom, spiritual blessings that through her poetry have guided us to believe to achieve and to have COURAGE. Knowledge is power and power is a divine gift from God the supreme ruler of the heavens and earth, I want to thank God for his divine creation called “Maya” a true GIANT FOR WHOM SHOULDERS WE STAND ON. Yes we loved her cherished her, but God loves her best. RIP but STILL – YOU RISE.
I will always rememember GOD LOVES ME!
Thank you, God, for allowing us to be touched by your very dear and special Angel.
We have been watching and listening to OWN TV/Radio all week to hear and see her again. We tried to see her in February 2013 in Washington, DC, but were unable to get in. The line was wrapped around one of the larger Smithsonian facilities, because Dr. Maya Angelou was sooooo beloved by so many.
We extend our condolences to her son, Guy and his entire family, her brother’s children, her publicly adopted daughters, to include Oprah & Nikki and more, to the Wake Forest family and to ALL who knew, loved and respected her, like our family.
May God continue to enrich your lives with precious memories and words of wisdom of this beloved iconic Woman of God.
Dear Maya Angelou Family,
I want to take this time to let you know you have my condolences. Your mother was a very uplifting person. I want to take this time to let her know, and for you to know, I want to thank her for the thoughtful memories, and the differences she made in many people lives, and the many changes she made in the African American Communities. and the many smiles she put on many people faces, and the love she showed in many people lives.
May father “Yahweh” continually Bless and protect you forever.
I read Maya Angelou’s “When The Cage Bird Sings,” when I was just a pre-teenager. I have loved her ever since, and still have my original copy of the book, which I’ve had for about 40 years. I began re-reading it today, while I sat in a park, in the beautiful spring sunlight, by a lovely fountain. Her language is stunning, and I was drawn deep inside her words and her world. Thank you Maya Angelou; today I call myself a poet and a writer, and you were one of my early seeds. I know you are with your God now – I pray for your soul,you are still blessed, as you have been, always.
Amen to you.
New York City
One of the most profound messages she left with me is “the first time someone shows you who they really are, believe them.” What a woman; what a life; what a legacy … what wonderful memories!
I did not know Dr. Angelou on a personal level but I heard about her many times over the years. I always meant to go by and introduce myself and tell her how much I admired her. She was so wise and seemed to be such a wonderful and spiritual person. My heart goes out to her family and the people whose lives she has touched so profoundly. Rest in peace with our Lord.
Such a wonderful Angel that has graced the world with her thoughts and presence. To the family may God keep you in perfect peace and remember all the wonderful things you have learned and shared through the years. I now know why the cage bird sings because now she is free to fly all over heaven. She will be missed. R.I.P. Dr. Maya Angelou Thank you for giving the world your words will forever be in our hearts.
I have always been fascinated with people who have endured hardship but continued to carry the human spirit to love mankind. Dr. Angleou not only showed us how to overcome hardships but she taught us the essential meaning of love with her poems, writings, and life. One of our treasured daughters have been called home for rest – Her legacy has been left for many future generations. God, thank you for the woman called Maya Angelou!!!
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
I remember seeing Maya in San Francisco some years back. She was fabulous. I have looked up to her for many years for her strength and fearlessness. She paved the way for many women who had suffered abuse as children. She showed us that no matter what we can be whatever we want to be and stand proud. I admire her poetry! I will miss her infinite wisdom 🙁 Maya RIP
A woman of grace. An inspiration to the world today. You are missed. Rest in peace.
Sleep on Dr. Maya Angeleou gone but not forgotten
I AM A HUMAN BEING BEING. NOTHING HUMAN CAN BE ALIEN TO ME. I was born in Trinidad the most southerly island in the Caribbean. I read and watched DR. Angelou’s teachings through the videos, clips, and speeches on my phone. I read everything. I watched everything. I feel like I have lost my teacher. I tried going to our book stores but they had none of her books and I was hurt because I was thirsty for her wisdom. I wanted to tell everyone I met about what I have learnt. I got up saying in my sleep the song she sang for the commencement speech at Spelman. I listened. I made my husband listen. I posted on my Facebook. I want to share the goodness. I want to teach people about courage: the greatest of all the virtues. I want young West Indians to understand that racism divides. I want to demonstrate through my words and my actions that the curried chicken goes well with the pelau and provision and saltfish if we cook it together. Yes respecting each other’s differences. As I watched all I am addicted to her voice as I am drunken by her words. I am diabetic and I am of a mixed race. But I am confident that I can make a great contribution to the human race. I got it Dr Angelou that I too was paid for already. I got it if I have give and if I learn teach. I know you. I feel like you mothered me in a week and fueled my soul. So I got it and I thank you if you can hear me. I will carry your light and will in my OWN way shine. To your family and friends I am indebted to your mom, Aunt, grandmother and great grandmother for inspiring me to be better. To be freer, to be kinder, to liberated in mind. It hurts….a deep pain…..This little light of mine…I am going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…..
I take responsibility for the space I occupy.
Dr. Maya Angelou touched so many lives, and I’m happy to say that she touched mine. May she rest in peace, and she will be missed dearly.
Dr. Angelou has been and always will be a true beacon of light for our world. An incredible gift came from Radford University when I was afforded the opportunity to have lunch alone with her. She was there to teach a creative writing course. Her presence and the warmth that exuded from her person had to be experienced in order to be understood.
“Joy, joy, joy…down in my soul.” Rest in peace, phenomenal lady.
Miss Maya, your words are beautiful as you are. Your heart was pure gold. Heaven has gained an Angel that will be dearly missed. God Bless you and your Family.
To the family of Maya Angelou
First my prayers are with you. Maya Angelou was my inspiration, my mentor, my sister girl who had the gift and knowledge of using words. She encourage me to be me and not to allow anyone to limit my dreams. She had such a elegant way of speaking and capturing your attention were you can lost in the world of words. I enjoyed listening to her, reading her poems and other materials, that like many others, I tried to get on the Oprah show during the book club to have the opportunity to meet her. But I was bless to have the chance to hear her speak when she was in West Va. a little while back. She gave us the extra push to make us realize just how great we were, the way God made us. Thank You Dr. Maya Angelou you have done so much, as our Lord said, Job Well Done, It is time to come Home!
My mother and Aunts knew her as a Child in St Louis, MO, I am Named after her, reading her book Why Cage Bird Sing, my Mother was telling things before I got to that Chapter. To her Son and entire family, you have my Deepest Sympathy.
I am because we are. To my poetic and spiritual mother. Thanks for teaching me how to rise above it all. May your legacy live on for generations to come. May people continue to see some Maya in me. Love, Venus Jones
Thank you for all your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world. Your books made me see the power of words when I was a child. My love for books has been with me ever since. Thank you for your gift.
Even I live in Germany, we have read her poems already at school when I was a student. She was a beautiful human with a beautiful soul. She touched my heart so very often because of her encouraging words. Thank you for everything , Lady and Rest in Peace… You will never be forgotten!
To the family (Guy, Valerie Simpson, Nikki Giovanni, Oprah, students, staff, publishers, etc.)
Dr. Maya inspired me to write my first poem
The Spirit running free within that says I Can, I Can
Accomplish the goals set by me, for me, which separates me from all others
The determination to reach the apex of my ability…despite the obstacles
The sincerity to remain humble while leaping forward with ambition…
Creativity….a gift from my Creator to succeed.
(c) 1982 GwenDolyn Yarborough Hall
Thank you Dr. Maya…..enjoy your eternal home with your mom, grandmother, Nelson Mandela and the many other ancestors that are now enjoying your spirit!
As a young child in Memphis, I remember sitting in a rocking chair and reading I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS for the first time. I nearly fell out of my seat because I could not believe the negative things that happened to little Marguerite. This book encouraged me to tell my truth to trustworthy adults and to be a confidant and mentor to young women. Thank you–Dr. Angelou–for sharing your faith, for standing tall and courageous in your “traveling
shoes.” Seeing and hearing you twice inspired me to be a better friend to myself and the world!
Awesome wonder. Her voice was captivating. She is already missed RIP Dr. Maya Angelou
I know her from her writings, her television persona,through the eyes and heart of Oprah. But…I wish I could have met her! What a wonderful Lady!
I loved her poems and read her books. Dr. Maya Angelou will always be in my heart may she R.I.P. and much love for her and her family.
The map maker
The architect of truth
The revealer of illusion
The brave one
Face to the sun, reflecting back its light
Goddess of the here and now
Tempted, marked and violated by life’s interrogation
Words finding a home on your clean slate
You hung out misconception like clean laundry on the line
A freight train of wisdom
The conductor of vowels and consonants
Your placement perfection although you believed in the messiness of life
You honored the broken, for cracks allow light and light will always stand up to
The gate keeper, you held prejudice at bay and forged a new way
You never ran, two feet always firmly planted in the moment
You owned your time here
Bending the rules, you were rewriting the instruction manual
Handing each new generation an opportunity to break the marble mold so perfectly crafted to contain
Ah that essence, that “it” revealed in your smile
A shaman, you keep words in your worn leather pouch
A warrior, tested, confronted, bleeding, brought to your knees. Here is where others would have screamed
Yet it is ‘thank-you’ that passes over your lips like a prayer
A gratefulness lives inside you like a fine garden
Full, abundant and tended
Is it from here that you sow your clarity and pick your knowing?
What are we left with besides everything?
For 86 years you toiled and attended to these inner seeds, while the world hungered for your harvest
You never said it would be easy
A fee must be paid, a stumble will have you falter but you always have the option of who you want to be in that moment
This I’ve seen you do
This I’ve watched with the wonder of a child on Christmas morning
Better than Santa you have offered mankind the eternal gift
May we recognize its value and strive to know we are worthy
If indeed our life does flash before our eyes when we die, what a view you must have had!
People will forget, time eats images but that feeling you evoked at the center of who we are, that sacred wound that you kissed and so graciously forgave so that we all may start
You absorbed the worlds ache and returned it to us purified and clear
We all matter
We all have the potential of contribution percolating inside us
You paved the way with a million little acts of love and sacrifice
Choice after choice you painted a picture worth living in
An artist, you sculpted words from a difficult past to create a future we didn’t know we were entitled too
Standing here now before my life I have to ask
What am I sculpting?
You became your canvas
The dancer and the dance
The writer and the words
The lover and the loved
I know why the caged bird sings because you were brave enough to tell me
By Tori McPetrie
I opened your Cage
And flew out my own window
away of the oppressive fear and anger of my youth
I educated myself
With my pen I learned to express myself
With a touch of your sharing I learned to rise above myself
Thank you mother, sister, preacher counselor
Thank you …
I am saddened that you are not here. But I know you are in a better place. I was so honored to have met you at the hospital. It made me leap for joy! I wanted to just tell the whole world that I met you! You are a Phenomenal Woman! I will always love and miss you! Until we meet again! ❤
You are are loved by so many and you will be missed so much. Your words of love and wisdom will be forever in our hearts. You are now with the Lord and have left your footprints for us to follow. Rest in peace Maya Angelou ♡
Dr. Angelou said,” a personality die and another is born a little better, a little stronger and little more daring”. I know now that because of Dr. Angelou’s courage, life, gift and liberation, I am better, stronger, daring, courageous and liberated to live, love, laugh, give and be all here to be a blessing to others. Praise the Lord for the life of Dr. Maya Angelou and all that she lived, and gave to me and millions of others on purpose. Thank you!!!!!Thanks my Sister & Mentor Maya Angelou!
“Phenomenal Woman, phenomenally”… Dr Angelou was and will forever be my inspiration of what a true woman’s shall be via “words”. I cried the day we all found out that she gathered her wings and flew away from here. It saddens me that I didn’t get the opportunity to meet her in person, to just hug her, love on her.To me, she was the grandmother we longed for, the aunt who gave us “the talk”, and that “sister-friend” who was there when you needed her. Rest in peace my beautiful guardian angel, I promise to be a “Phenomenal women, phenomenally, …
I first came across one of your poems (15 years ago) when I was about 16. I learned English at school, but although it was probably not that good back then, the poem I read struck me right in the heart: I did not only understand- I felt the words. The poem I had read was “Alone” and I had never heard about the writer before. Since I wanted to find out more about this woman Maya Angelou and read more of her poems I started to investigate. The internet (or maybe it was my computer skills?) was not that advanced and it really took some time to find out more- but what I found immediately got me. I think already back then I could be called a “fan”. I worked on improving my English and read more and the first longer paper I wrote in English class was bout Maya Angelou. When I finished school I started to study English and the writer that was always good company and had the right read for every situation was you. I read your poems I read your autobiographies and there was one thing that I couldn’t understand and actually still can’t is: that I seemed to be the only one – at least in Germany! Of course I try and spread the poems and read and write and send them to all my friends and everyone who reads them falls in love- but there is one big problem: as far as I know your work has not been translated into German! There is a translation of your first autobiography- but I think that’s it.
I know that it is hard – if not impossible- to translate poetry. Especially your poetry. But I think it would be great if more of your writings were available to a German audience. I’ve already made some translations for friend or family (I gave “Mother” in the original + German translation to my mom as a birthday present) and I think I will continue some day… Your writings I so important for me. I just have to pass them on!
As I said I started studying but during that period of my life I somehow lost myself and I got really sick. I was suffering from an eating disorder and looking back at that time I really cannot understand how I managed to survive. But I did survive and I’m still here and I somehow feel that I have to thank you for it, too. I know that this must sound pathetic, but I think it’s true. I think you have a poem or a story for every situation in life- and that helped me. I still don’t always feel like a “phenomenal woman”, but reading such empowering words in hard times can be really strengthening! It wasn’t just reading your poem that helped me, though. It was also the idea that I had: I wanted to do my Masters in English Literature and I wanted to finish my Thesis. It was very important for me and during the process of writing I might have gone away from a merely academic purpose and in the end wrote it for myself. And maybe also a little bit for you. The title of my thesis is “a life in poems” and it focusses on the “autobiographical aspects in the poetry of Maya Angelou”. I finished it in 2008 and since then I wanted to tell you about it, but I never did. I don’t know why. I guess first of all I was too shy, then I didn’t know what to write, then I thought there was too much to say… I could continue this list forever and I could go on writing forever because there is still so much to say and still so many compliments to make… but I will stop here.
At least now you know that thousands of miles away somewhere in Germany there is one little woman who adores and love you and your work.
Now that you’re gone I will miss you terribly!
You have influenced so many people you’ve done so much good- for others and for myself, so I just want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for your writings. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for everything you gave to the world. I haven’t been so lucky as to meet you personally, but I’m sure that you’ve been a wonderful, WONDERFUL person and I am so glad that I came across your writings. So again- with all my heart, I say: THANK YOU!
p.s. I learned from your writings that there is always a way and that I will “rise”. And since I don’t want to forget this, I wear this as a tattoo on my arm. You’ll always be a part of me <3
A life well lived, a soul so beloved, a foot print for others to follow in. A legacy humbly lived. Shall we gather at the river?
Dr. Maya Angelou thank you so much for sharing your inspiring words, wisdom and extraordinary work with me. God bless the world with a “Phenomenal Woman”…Thank you God!!!
We will miss you 🙂
She will truly be missed. She was the voice to the young people. Now they must listen
and take action to transform their lives as they transform their communities and beyond.
Thank you Maya see you next time.
Dr. Angelou is one person, for some strange reason, I thought would always be around. She was a strong woman, and yet you always felt her gentleness as she spoke. She had so much more to give, and we still have so much to learn from her. You will be dearly missed. May you rest in eternal peace.
Dr. Maya has blessed me from a child. Her words and spirit will always be with me. Her legacy lives in me. How truly blessed we are to have such a gift in our lifetime. Heaven smiles to have its Angel home again. Knowing the oneness and unity of all life, I bless beloved sister, teacher, guide and friend peace in the hereafter. Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou.
Rest in Paradise Ms. Maya Angelou!
It is because of you I am an avid reader! Thank you for touching my life.
I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. Maya Angelou. Please accept my tribute/condolences and prayers help comfort you and hasten the journey of her soul to Heaven.
With heartfelt condolences to the family of Maya Angelou. She will be missed as a great role model for women, especially African American Woman. We are thankful for the legacy of her writings and works that she leaves to forever remind us of her presence in our hearts and on the planet. She will forever be loved.
MY CONDOLENCE GOES OUT TO MRS. ANGELOU FAMILY – WE HAVE LOST A GREAT LADY – I WILL TRULY MISS HER AND HER WORDS OF WISDOM
This hurt knowing your going. When I heard I cried. I don’t know you personally but you words said it all and you knew me. Thank you for being a strong, phenomenonal. Women, thank you for teaching us caged girls.
Her spirit is so large that you can feel it envelope the entire world, giving loving support to all her inhabitants. She’s a new Ascended Master. A teacher of life whose heart full of love is as large and as infinite as the universe.
You are my profound inspiration Maya ! I Love You! My thoughts are with the family! It is bitter-sweet, My heart is broken for the loss and filled with love for the gathering of admirers at this time.
Sincerely, Always, Daniel
The six years in which she remained quiet after enduring such a traumatic experience early in life shortly after its beginning stages allowed God to resonate his STRONG presence inside her. This lead to six decades of prosperity, allegiance and service to the cause of the human race. That will be her legacy. Though she did not speak for a time publicly early on, God was moving well within her and preparing her to wear a great title and do marvelous things for millions.
Sometimes when we endure such unimaginable suffering early in life we have to be patient for it is by the grace of God that all that suffering we encounter in that time period will lead to greater rewards, benefits and successes later in life that we can not dream of or imagine.
Because of you, Dr. Maya Angelou, I still dream.
My husband (Lynwood) and I are so proud to have had the opportunity to know and work with Dr. Angelou at Mount Zion Baptist Church. She is indeed the most phenomenal woman we have ever known. There will never be another like her. She will be missed immensely.
As a young girl I couldn’t possibly appreciate the lessons taught by you & grandmother. Each Sunday on West 25th 1/2 street when you would come by chat and enjoy dinner, oh what a cherished memory. I can only imagine you, grandmother, the rest of the circle are laughing, talking and enjoying the impact you’ve made. Well done faithful servant now it’s time to rest.
Sweet tears of joy!
The words of wisdom expressed by Dr. Angelou through her writings will forever resonate within my soul. She’s one of my many admirers. Little did I know when my daughter would call to say that Dr. Angelou was speaking at Wake’s Dignity and Respect Campaign, it would be the last time that I would get to grace her presence.
Farewell to one of the greatest poets, writers, activists, and teachers the world would come to know. Thank you Dr. Angelou and may we all continue to inhabit your vision of One village…One community. Sleep on beloved!
To the Family and “Daughters” of Dr. Maya Angelou,
We, as a nation and as a world community, have lost a treasure! I thank God for sending teachers, mentors and guides to us to learn from. She has an exceptional job and I believe that God is pleased. She left our world a better place…just because she was willing to be what God had planned for her to be…herself. Ah….what could be better! There is still so much to yield from her life because she has left a legacy. She was the teacher and her life taught us how to live life with courage, determination, and zeal! I rejoice in the fact that she lives on. Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou!
Dr. Maya Angelou, you are such an inspiration.GOD lent you to us for 86 glorious years, you have shared your life with us through pen and paper and through eloquent speeches. You have taken your rest and GOD has you now. You will be missed dearly. We thank you, we applaud, we love you. Rest on dear Maya, rest on!
Dr. Maya Angelou was a wonderful and humble human being. Heaven is blessed to have her if she spreads even a fraction of the love, wisdom, hope, and peace she did here on earth. I love you.
My condolences to Dr. Maya Angelou’s son Guy and his family,Ophrah Winfry and the vast family that adopted her as Mother,Sister,mentor and friend…..I weep when I heard Dr. Maya had left us . I have never had the honor of meeting her,but felt like she was a close relative that guided my spirit…I was privileged with witnessing every interview,documentary,hearing her eloquent speeches and reading her powerful words which have helped me in my personal growth. Two sayings from Maya that will always be with me are; I can be changed by what happens to me,I refuse to be reduced by it. And, when people show you who they are believe them..
What a powerful legacy you have left ,we are blessed to have had you
God bless you, Rest in Peace
You were such a inspiration.a Renaissance woman whom one day I hope to emulate!
God bless and light perpetual shine upon you.
Rest in peace. Thank you for all the great work you did.
Thank you Mrs. Maya Angelou for serving as an example for me and many across the world. Your love for people, poetry, and life liberated ME. Your voice that rang to the nations has reached down to the depths of my being and has inspired me to live, to want more and to breathe but overall to stand on faith. Your wisdom, love, empowerment will never be forgotten because of the seed of hope that you have left here on earth, here in me. I am thankful to our father for sharing you with us and for the forever engraved footprints you have left on each of our hearts. We writers/poets carry them with honor, love, and humility.
A Phenomenal Woman
Dr Maya Angelou was an inspiration to many people . I loved her poetry.
Peace my brother
Peace my sister
Peace my soul
Thank you for your wisdom and inspiration. Still I rise.
Rest in peace.
She has been a blessing to me.
To the Family of Maya Angelou,
Thank you for sharing this phenomenal woman with us. She was loved and will be missed by all.
Tribute to Maya Angelou
Why I Write
… The mundane offerings of my quiet pursuit…
To tread the ever-winding stairs to lore,
To tax the hidden recesses of my mind,
Exploring the known and unknown
In a never-ending quest for highest Truth.
To invoke the Universal cache of knowledge,
To proliferate the slate with vision’s ideology,
Seeking my soul from within
For spiritual perfection whether possessed or dispossessed.
To view in the world’s convolutions of madness a sense of order,
For all that is and was and is no more.
Neither of me nor by me but through me
In communion with the Ancient of Ages.
… Listening to the Collective Conscious
… Transcribing from the Cosmic Voice.
By Fay Parker Ma’at Ely, Ph.D
Cell 1 (267) 679-1630
Many Blessings to the family of this great woman. She will all ways be in my heart, her book is how I learned how to read.
Rest well Sweet Princess. Well deserved.
Thank you for sharing! Because of you, I know that I am a work in progress…
The “Phoenix once again rises”…vibrant and reborn.
Peace & Blessing,
Dear Sweet Maya,
I have known you for many years through your words. Your sweetness and your strength and your comforting wise words will live forever and then still you are with us. Like so many bright stars and love energy, the encouraging voice. I feel like you are the Mother and Grandmother to me and yet you never knew me. I will treasure your spirit, your smile and your love that liberated me forever. Thank you so much for being with us and teaching us. I have copied all your words that I could find from your interviews with Oprah and have read your books. What I liked best was your blessed presence and also knowing that we as women (or men) can be strong and refuse ugliness yet still be soft and love and love others and life and have faith in ourselves and the world. And like the story of Rachel Remen we can share our light with the light of others or just offer our light to them. Your legacy is pure beauty and a million shining stars.
I love you,
One of the most memorable interviews I have ever done in my entire 30-plus year was with Dr. Maya Angelou. Even though you knew you were speaking with greatness, she had the most amazing ability to make your time with her warm and personal…like a child sitting at the feet of her favorite aunt as she was giving you guidance. It was nearly 8 years ago…and her wisdom and messages were just as powerful and timely today as they were then. Personal too. 8 years later, I’m remembering and re-embracing the message with an even greater zeal. Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for all you ever were, are, and will continue to be in the lives of many. With much love and respect…and sincere condolences and love to the family.
Host of Soul School Cafe
To the family. I never knew Dr. Angelou personally, but growing up here in North Carolina, I read here works while I was a schoolgirl. I am so honored to have known this “Phenomenal Woman” as a neighbor and a mentor.
You will always be remembered and loved
Hearing of Dr. Angelou’s death for me was like the way my mother and older siblings described hearing of President Kennedy’s death. While I know that she would never compare herself to anyone, the loss of her to me is just as great and tearful. While I did not know her in a personal or biological way her works, most especially her poem “Still I Rise” conceived me, birthed me, and propelled me to such a moment in time that applauds my destiny. I have watched her book discussion,interviews, and movie appearances in awe of her profound wisdom. While I wanted her to remain in my life at the least 20 more years plus, God wanted her in His life now! So to her son “Guy” I’d like to say we (the world) may have lost/given up a very rare and precious jewel, but having had to say goodbye to my own mother, I can empathetically say that your rose is now at her most brilliance of being, resting from all her labor and at peace of who you have become and will continue to be.
My condolences to the family of Dr. Maya Angelou. As I think back to the very first time of being in the presence of her speaking at my church in Atlanta, I recall feeling an ever presence of her love, honesty, and literary genius. My soul was truly blessed by all that she shared and for her loving spirit that graced us. Dr. Maya has touched and inspired my life and the lives of so many others in so many different ways. Her words always have a way of getting to my core, bringing about an “ah ha” moment and always wanting to absorb more of her very being, wisdom and encouragement. She is truly a Phenomenal Woman. Thank you Dr. Angelou for all you have given and the great body of work that you have blessed us with to pass on to future generations. I thank God for the time He allowed us to experience all of the greatness He placed in you to make this world a better place and to challenge our minds. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for allowing us to see inside of your life as you walked and lived out your God given purpose. God bless
Dr. Maya Angelou was the epitome of God’s love in action! She inspired me to strive to be a better person, and work to affect positive change in our society. Her legacy will continue to affect lives for generations to come. Rest in peace with God, Dr. Maya. You will never be forgotten. Linda Hester
What a font of strength, beauty, and inspiration. From the moment I learned of your words, I read them all. You have been an amazing role model for me as a woman. I only wish I could have had the honor to meet you. I will continue to teach your words and wisdom to my own students. Rest in peace.
My condolences go out to Dr. Maya Angelou’s family during this time of loss. Please know that we all share in your pain, even though, my connection was only through her literary works, movies and Oprah…I felt like I knew her personally.
I’ve shed a few tears, but I can only smile when I reflect on the life she has lived and the lives (included mine) that she has touched.
May God Be With You All & Thank you WFU .
Dr. Maya Angelou said it best . . . . “I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,
That’s me”. That you were. Spread your wings. RIP.
I feel blessed to have been present and hear her speak. It was an event to raise funds for Day One, an organization that provides clinical care and support to children and families traumatized by sexual assault. It was held at the PPAC. I bought my daughter Kyla and I tickets and we were both mesmerized by her words. Such a special memory for us. Peace to all. Judith
You were and always will be remembered as elegance, and grace. Doing my early education
black history was not promoted or encouraged. I learned during the civil right era the you
will have to find this history on your on. Reading some of your poems started me in the
direction to being a good reader which lead me to become a photojournalist.
Thanks Dr. Maya Angelou
I remember nervously shaking Sis. Maya hand while at Miami Dade C. College in 1972. I asked her “Why really does the caged bird sing”? She did not answer me, but she looked into my eyes and instantly we both cried out in a long joyful laughter! That was her solemn answer to me and it was more than I had ever expected!
No doubt this Sister was the epitome of love and sacrifice. In truth, those who are more righteous minded rather than wicked, shall be honored to be with her again – as only her spirit kind are destined to populate the future earth not too long from this date!
We thank God for sharing you with us.
You will be sorely missed.
I never had the pleasure of meeting you personally – Dr. Maya Angelou; but out of love for how you blossomed amongst us living beings, I thank you! Your soul sang through the pages that generations will see. You rose through adversities and flew beyond our eyes could see – Yes you will rise! My dear sister when I met you in eternity at our Saviors feet, we will worship together for Yes God is our King! So rest on my dear sister rest on, until that great getting up morning. Yes, I do believe that our Spirits shall meet!
Deacon Sheila W. Alexander
Walker Memorial Baptist Church, Bx. N.Y
Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush, Sr., Pastor
I never met Dr. Maya Angelou but she impacted my life in a way that could never be repaid. Several years ago I read her poem “Our Grandmothers,” and it stuck with me. Especially, the verse which says: ” No one, no, nor no one million ones dare deny me God, I go forth along, and stand as ten thousand.” A year and a half ago, I discovered that my child was being restrained and secluded at school, I went before my state’s Board of Education and pleaded for them to pass a ruling to outlaw those abuses in public school. I remember standing in a crowded room before this board of education, tears rolling down my face, my heart broken and my spirit crushed. As I began to speak, I remembered those words that I stand as ten thousand. And it gave me strength to speak my message that day. May her words always remind us that we are never alone.
To my Grand Mother what an honor to be able to say this word to a Women that is Grand, another one of our Matriarch has gone home but God has blessed us with the pleasure of having her for as long as he has given her to us, but her work on this side is finish her jounery is complete, i can just see the Angels come down grabed her by her hand said lets go she took flight and went home
God ordered your steps to be a remarkable person. You have touched so many lives in ways that are known only to God. Thank you so much for answering the call and sharing so generously your gifts and talents. You have left an enormous footprint that I doubt if anyone can ever achieve again. Rest in peace, beautiful lady, phenomenal woman. Your memory will live with me, always.
Before coming to teach at Wake Forest I had read just about every Maya Angelou book I could find. I found the last just before my interview on campus, at an old book shop in Reynolda Village. It was a paperback of “The Heart of a Woman.”
I couldn’t believe my good fortune in finding a job near her. In my first year class one of student invited me to come to Dr Angelou’s class. I always regret not making it. I had to teach at the same time and really couldn’t justify such a choice although I was seriously tempted.
I did have the good fortune to see her speak at Wait Chapel more than once and one sleepy Spring Saturday afternoon at Fresh Market we reached for the same radish. We both agreed they were really good radishes and laughed at the importance of the small gifts the Spring brings.
Maya Angelou’s voice is a gift to women. She will be missed, her courage will continue to inspire.
Reading “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” as a teenager was life changing. Through her books her voice will live forever.
She was the grandmother. To all black people I know she is in heaven look for Malcolm x
Thank you Dr. Angelou for reminding me that God loves me and that I am human therefore “…nothing can be alien to me”. I carry these words along with the crown you and all the elders paid for. Though you are not here, I know your beautiful spirit guides us through your gift of words, and prose. Please, continue to look over us and help all find unconditional love for Humanity.
Thank you, I am eternally gracious,
Dr. Maya Angelou, resounding and prominent representative for the world of literacy, the arts, education and entertainment; a large reflection of humanity the world over. She was a reckoning force and a voice that spoke passionately, defiantly, but lovingly! She was NOT a Queen, but was regarded as royalty. She put [poetry] in all if all lives, which defined us, but couldn’t be defined and spoke volumes to many and in so many ways.
She was large in stature, but humble in spirit, a gentle kind and friendly soul that was the balm to all the aches and atrocities that she endured; we endured!
She was “our” poetic angel, an educator, a friend and having achieved countless awards, recognitions, praises and other accolades, will unfortunately not grace out physical presence, but will forever resonate in our spirit as we will continue to reflect on the life, legacy and love if our dear departed friend.
I remember when I meet Maya Angelou in Oakland , California at my church Evergreen Missionary Church see donated 10,000.00 to are church fund and now we have a library name in her honor.
You will be missed,
We didn’t know her personally, but each time we saw her on the tv we felt like we knew her. We are going to purchase some of her books to get more insight to who she was. My wife and I watched her last appearance with Oprah and I was inspired by the things see said especially about her mother and grandmother she was truly loved by them. May God be please with her and what she did for her people and humanity.
Ms. Angelou , for so many years your messages carried us through some of the darkest hours, and some of the most unforgettable moments, it’s your time to rest, we’ll carry your message forward from here on end. Thank you
To the family of Dr. Maya Angelou you are in my prayers. Dr. Angelou will always be here on earth for books and poems will be a part of billions in the classroom to design, develop, and creative writings. She inspired me to write and express in high school. She was is will always inspire for she was sent on earth to make a difference and that she did. Dr. Brucetta Mcclue-Tate
The testimony of one’s life is in the lasting impression that person made on the hearts and lives of others during their time on earth. Few lives have left as wide-reaching and indellible testimony of courage, compassion, wisdom and love as the well-lived and well-loved life of Dr. Maya Angelou. While her light continues to shine, the world feels a little less bright without knowing that she is breathing our air. My deepest condolences to Dr. Angelou’s family, friends and her many “beloveds.” How blessed you were to have been among her most loved fellow human beings!
Dr. Angelou’s careful and creative care of the written and spoken words have inspired me to leave my well-paying job in corporate America to begin writing the book on grief and loss that God is calling me to write. Without the boundaries and constraints of her physical body, she now knows the extent to which her words, actions and life touched countless people like myself. That thought makes me smile.
I will endeavor to live each day in a manner that would make Dr. Angelou proud. Thank you for sharing her memorial service with those of us who would like to think that we are now also one of her “beloveds.” God’s strength and comfort be with you all.
To the family of Dr. Maya Angelou….
From the moment God formed her and blew his breathe into her, she graced this world with beauty through her spoken words, spoken so powerful as if God took your hand and said feed my people with this thing they will fall in love with through you called poetry… Your words disturbed the moral compass for those who had an ear to hear, and take others on a journey across distant continents through your eyes and feel compassion.
You stood so tall and yet spoke so eloquently that your words danced like music notes across pages for all who heard them were inspired…
I will miss your enriched teaches for they were always a comfort to my soul…
Rest in peace with God now Dr. Maya Angelou
You will be missed
Stone Mountain, Georgia
I was deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Angelou’s death. Before I left my house for work, I received several calls from friends informing me of her passing. My friends knew of my deep admiration for Dr. Angelou. I was first introduced to Dr. Angelou by my high school friend who gave me a copy of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I graduated from college.
I was so inspired by her works that I named my daughter after her. My daughter, I believe has some of her characteristics. She is exceptionally well spoken. When she learned of Dr. Angelou’s passing, my daughter said that she is going to revisit some of the works.
Every opportunity that I got, I would go to hear Dr. Angelou. My last opportunity was several years ago when she came to speak in Baltimore. Her entire talk took place as she sat comfortably in a chair. I felt as if she was sitting in her living room having a personal conversation with a group of friends.
Her words will live on but she will be greatly missed.
Dr. Maya Angelou’s
Physical speaking voice was silenced on May 28th; but not the life lessons and beliefs she taught us while on earth.
She not only wrote words to get her message across about equality and brotherly love but she action them as well. Her raw message of love, courage and truth will forever ring true in our hearts if we dare to listen during the quietude to the voice of God! (As mentioned in her last tweet).
If we really listen to her words of wisdom we will hear the voice of God. Telling us how to love, to know ourselves and to treat everyone with care.
She taught us how to love, I mean the agape love with no out conditions. She taught us about courage and to dare to speak out boldly and loudly when we see injustice around us!
My one regret is that I did not meet her in person. I lost my mother two years ago. In many ways Dr. Angelou reminded me of my own mother and often times I could hear my own mother speaking to me when hearing Dr. Angelou speak.
Although we never met in person, I admired Dr. Maya Angelou. Some how I think way down inside she knew us all. She spoke to the human heart and human condition: love, courage, respect…forgiveness…
God, thank you for the voice of our sister, mother, aunt, friend, Dr. Maya Angelou.
We heard you!
I cannot stop the tears from falling. My beloved mentor Dr. Maya Angelou you have touched my heart and been such a significant part of my spiritual growth. RIP and I know you are having an amazing time with other legends and ordinary folk in heaven. I will always love you. I am heartbroken.
Our thoughts and prayers to the family and community.
May her light shine forever and brightly.
Her spirit will continue to be strong.
We love you Dr. Maya.
In honor of a Light that went from Ohio State, to Kent, to Oberlin throughout northern Ohio in the early 1970’s, thank you Maya Angelou for your vision, your courage and tenacity. You were a beacon of what we could be, your presence made it a possibility of humanity and humility for myself and countless others, we are grateful. The miracle is you seemed to recall our faces our energy and claimed us as your own. To touch and receive a hug from you was the renewable energy required to make it bit farther on our journey.
Angels are everywhere, many have blessed me. Maya you certainly are one of the premier
angels in my life. We lift you in praise of all humanity. God has certainly enriched your territory and I acknowledge the benefits. PEACE
“Heaven is a place nearby, so there’s no need to say goodbye.” -(Lene Marlin)
Dr.A ngelou you will be missed very much. I will remember your family in prayer.
Dr maya angelou she was indeed a humble giant among the world of gods children, she will be sorely missed her presence here has made the world a better place
To: Guy, Oprah Winfrey, and the Entire family of Dr. Maya Angelou,
I extend my sincere and deepest condolences to “All of You”…
Dr. Maya Angelou is an icon to my soul…..I just wished that I could have sat at her feet to listen to her words of wisdom. Dr. Angelou’s wisdom is a life time of learning to my spirit… I could listen to her speak forever. Her many books, cards, and speeches will go down in history for us, our children and our children’s children…. Dr. Angelou’s sweet sweet spirit will live forever in the hearts of all of “us” who loved her.
Dr. Angelous’s journey has just begun, life holds so many facets, and this old earth is only one…
Dr. Angelou is now reunited with her “Mother Vivian”, and her Beloved “Grandmother”. She is sitting at our “Heavenly Father’s” feet, speaking in that deep strong voice… reciting her beloved poems to the angels at Heaven’s Gate and smiling…
May “GOD” continue to keep “All of You” in his tender loving care.
Blessings and Love,
Shirley Lewis Larke
Dear Guy, Rose and Colin: Dr. Maya Angelou lives in my heart. I am grateful for her love and her joyful immersion in my life. Dr. A taught me, not only in her class at Wake Forest, but daily, for all the many years I stood by her side. It was an exceptional gift knowing Maya Angelou, her family and some of her friends. For me, those experiences encompassed her love and the life lessons which were shared at her table; thus, I have been able to share them at my table. I, we the world, shall miss her presence but her words will ring in our hearts, in our ears and through our mouths forever. God Bless you all.
With deep-felt sadness and love, Joan (Ms. White)
I remember reading “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in the 70’s and thinking, finally someone understands. I found comfort in knowing I was not alone.
Thank you Dr. Angelou for your words of inspiration, they have carried me throughout my life.
RIP. Much love!
I am so thankful that God created and molded Dr. Maya Angelou to be a source of inspiration and motivation to the world. I pray that we will honor her memory by becoming the best person we can, living out our individual life’s purpose and making a positive difference in the world. I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Angelou first and then to our entire planet.
On March 14, 1990, I was privileged to meet Dr. Angelou when she was keynote speaker at the Black Women’s Task Force annual conference and luncheon in Phoenix, AZ. During our conversation on the dais, I mentioned to her that the organization’s work was a 100% volunteer effort by the Board of Directors. One week later she returned a portion of her speaker’s fee to the organization. In addition to all of her known acclaims for written and spoken words, her generous heart was evident in her deeds that supported efforts to empower women. Her infectious inspiration will last through eternity. Some great people are just greater than we think. Rest now our loving sister.
Regina I. Gilbert
Ex. Officio, Phoenix BWTF
I was a freshman in high school when I heard about the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It inspired me to want to write. Since then I have written and published a few works and now own my own publishing company.
On a chilly fall evening in Norman, OK, I was set to go hear Ms. Angelou speak at the university. I was not disappointed! Her passion for the word and her deep and abiding faith, touched the entire room of listeners. Ms. Angelou treated us to some impromptu singing. What a night to remember. Thank you…
I was grateful to have heard Maya speak on two different occasions. I had the opportunity to meet her once at a book signing. I said to her, “Thank you for being my rainbow in the clouds.” And she said in that all encompassing voice of her, ” What’s your name?” I told her and she remarked, ” what a beautiful name.” THEN…she sung to me. “When it looked like the sun— wasn’t gon’ shine any more—God put a rainbow in the clouds.” You know I walked away feeling like I was on Cloud 9! I will always, always, always remember her loving kindness towards me and particularly, the entire Universe. Maya has shown us the Way in so many ways, that none of us ought not ever lose our Way ever again and if we should, all we have to do is lift our heads to the sky and see our rainbow in the clouds. I love you Maya.
Dr. Maya Angelou was one of God’s great gifts to humanity. She inspired us to accept our own perfect imperfections and to choose Love above all else. She propelled us forward in our darkest days and lifted our spirit when nothing else would. She was truly and Earth Angel! Her words will echo in our hearts and minds forever. Thank you Maya! Thank you!
My first introduction to her work began when I was a sophomore in high school. The poem was called, “Elegy”. We were asked to present an analysis of poetry to our classmates and teacher and I remember she was impressed with the history behind it and I had such pride in knowing a little more about our ancestral roots and to be able to enlighten others. I have been a fan of her work every since. May she rest in love for the gift that she gave to the world that will keep on giving for generations to come.
I will truly will miss her words of wisdom & her warm spirit. Even though I never had the honor to meet her I could listen to her talk and feel her warmth & love through her words. My prayer is that God will bless her family in their loss.
The memory of being a student in Dr. Angelou’s class at Wake Forest will forever be etched in both my heart and my mind. She taught me more than I can ever describe and her presence left an indelible mark that will thankfully stay with me for the rest of my life. The way she carried herself and the lessons she shared molded and shaped me into a better person, a stronger student, and a louder voice.
Thank you, Dr. Angelou for all you taught me. Your words, your emotion, and your voice stay with me today and always.
“And still I rise” thank you Maya, rest peacefully.
I will miss that wonderful smile and all the wisdom you gave me over the years with your words.
One bright morning when my works is over I’ll Fly away Home. Dr. Angelou give me the strength to turn around y life when I need it the most, cause I know why the cage bird sing; I was trap In that cage(incarceration for seven years on probation for twenty-eight) and I’m still singing. The ones that are in the cages will sing and people, and nations will hear their voices; Peace and Blessing from God to you Dr. Maya Angelou one of our greatest Black Woman to dress this planet earth, and unto your Family One Love. The grave that have you body can’t hold your Voice
Dr. Maya Angelou,
You were a hero to a race of women like myself….you were the first author, poet and teacher of the literary language for me!!! In spite of me having completed high school and had entered college in my early twenties, I had never really developed a love for reading until I purchased my first book published by you-“I know why the caged bird sings.”
After that I was hooked, then I purchased a whole set of books published by you. I just wanted whatever you wrote. Thanks for gracing this earth with your purpose! You could have made many decisions as a single-parent at 17 years-old, but you chose to seek purpose-and boy did you find it. I feel that you helped me at the age of 20 as a single-parent to be in the pursuit of my purpose and now I serve others in the public housing communities as a social service Coordinator teaching them about you and other trailblazers to help them seek their purpose!
So thank you for not quitting and being a teacher of humanity.
With much love and respect for your Legacy,
Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr Angelou for your words of truth, love, courage, encouragement, wisdom, humility, humanity and many attributes and states of being. You will always live in our hearts, wherever we are … e.g. Grahamstown, South Africa; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa (my daughters’ and my residences).
To the family of the greatest Poet that ever walked this Earth, may the Lord be with the entire family through this loss. Thanking the Lord for her long Life here on Earth.. Now resting in Peace. The Legacy of her life will last forever. Gone, but will never be Forgotten. R. I. P… Maya Angelou 1928-2014.. A Legend for ever.
My prayers and thoughts go out to the family of Maya Angelou, she will be missed truly but we have another angel watching over us, God Bless!!
Thank you Dr. Angelou for so unselfishly sharing yourself with the world. Thank you for the words of wisdom that you donated to us all and may we live the words that you have spoken and breathe peace into the world. I thank God for His sharing you with us. Enjoy your continuous life and we will see you soon and be able to share without the restraint of time.
I would like to extend my deepest prayers to all family members and close friends of Dr. Angelou.
Thank you, to our Creator who created such a beautiful creation…Dr. Angelou.
I have been so inspired by your ability to teach me, (us all) how to respect the power and romance behind words. Hence, the more intimately I have come to know the romance that lies within each word, the more I understood the meaning of the words. Through this discovery, I found myself…my authentic self…which brought me to seeing the only true and existing one, Our Creator of All Things.
I am humbled and blessed that I had to opportunity to witness GREATNESS close up. Thank you, Dr. Angelou for your infectious love of poetry behind words that gave language its overwhelming power.
Blessings and Peace,
It was such an honor to meet such a strong, spirited teacher during my college years. What powerful lessons she has taught me and the world. Thank you Dr. Angelou for your grace, strength and endearing love for mankind. Your love lessons will forever be remembered and your words embedded in our minds and hearts. I know Heaven was happy to receive you! You are loved. Rest in Peace…
Christy Stewart, Spring , TX
In remembrance of Sam Floyd, James Baldwin,Dolly McPherson, Rosa Guy, and in solidarity with those who remain, I salute the times when things defined, the folks who knew how to make & honor memory, and the love that endureth forever.
In sympathy and with condolences,
Jessica B. Harris
Your charm, skills, poise, intellect and having a God-given gift of being the world’s greatest poetess will be cherished forever! I truly thank God for you. May the Angels in heaven continue to enjoy your God-given gift of poems. Your life will remain in my heart forever!
Dear Maya Angelou
Your words will always be with our family. They have comforted us, held us and reminded us of our rainbow in the sky. I along with countless others will never forget the most powerful words that you shared with us….
GOD loves me
GOD loves me
May the peace of God be with your family
THANK YOU MAYA ANGELOU
Maya, Thank you for sharing your life story with the world and inspiring people to love, share and trust in God through your poetry, writing books and acting. As a child I have been reading your poetry and books. Rest in peace Maya, and thank you for sharing your lives with us! Always remember and never forgotten. May God be the Glory!
Words cannot express your contribution to our society as a whole. Your inspiring words gave motivation to all who have ever read any of your books, poems & speeches. Thank you for being that beautiful light in my life. I know you are at peace and resting in the arms of our Lord and Savior. The life that you lived was a example to us all. Thanks for being one of God’s leading ladies in my life. RIP Dr. Maya Angelou
Heaven I’ve gained another angel,
Maya Angelou, Her voice awakened my soul when I first heard the Still I Rise poem as a child that poem liberated me. RIP Maya Angelou!
Truly my Angel..
Cousin Marguerite (Maya),
You are so missed. My heart and spirit have an emptiness, since your passing, but as I reflect on your journey, the journey of our ancestors, and the generation that follows, I hope that the next generation will embrace the greatness that we “all” Inherently possess, just as you were a great example. Not only does our family have a beautiful outwardly connection, but our souls are filled with the greatness of our ancestors. I charge the youth to live with “purpose, passion, and conviction”. Thank you for your contribution to the world.
R.I.P. – you were (and are) a trailblazer,
J. Nikol Bradford
I can’t imagine a world without you. I wanted so desperately to meet you and share an intimate conversation over tea…and then I would sing for you (because I knew you loved music)…but it never happened. You will live forever in my heart. Thank you for blessing my life with your words of wisdom. Heaven is surely having a big party now that you’re there. With much love…Linda
With deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Maya Angelou. Olga, JW and Jacqueline Dickens are sorry for your loss. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
“Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”
I am sorry for your loss and will remember the family in prayer.
My heart is deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Maya Angelou. I will miss her but let her go. Rest in peace. May God bless you!
Rest in peace, you continue to be a mother, sister and friend to countless people. God choice a special angel called Dr. Maya Angelou to spread his love and passion.
The pearls of wisdom Dr. Angelou gave has benefited my live now and forever. Rest in Peace
Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou in thought and prayer. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
As we pause to thank God for the wonderful life, legacy and longevity of Dr. Maya Angelou, let us not forget that tender promise of Christ when He said, “For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” – II Timothy 4:6-7 (King James Version).
Sleep on Dr. Angelou and take your rest, we love you but God loved you best.
Thank you for sharing your life and your wisdom with the world. May you rest in peace.
“Her Journey has just begun.”
As we travel this journey we know as life, we have learned our time here on earth is like a vapor compared to our eternal destination called “heaven.”
We know we will see Dr. Maya Angelou again. We will see her in a glorified body in which pain is not known.
We will be greeted by Jesus and hear those wonderful words stated by our Lord and
Savior…”Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” – St. Matthew 25:21 (King James Version).
Dr. Maya Angelou: Her voice. Her presence. Her words. She shared it all and made us better because of it and because of her.
Rest in Peace Phenomenal Woman.
Thank You God for sharing Dr Maya Angelou with us and her teaching. We are a Blessed Society to have Experienced her Wisdom Artistry Love. Evelyn Huff
No words can express our loss, but your words, wisdom and contributions to society will be forever. Thank you for all that you have done to lift humanity. You will forever be cherished by those who have loved you. Deepest sympathy to your family but I will celebrate you always.
When I grow up, I want to learn and live as much as you did. My favorite quote is,
… When you learn, Teach
… When you get, Give
Rest in the arms of God now. Peace be with you. Well done!! Well Done!!
In Remembrance of Dr. Maya Angelou
(1928 – 2014)
“I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS”,
because we had her during
“A PLAGUED JOURNEY”,
“A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH”,
who left her alone, making her have
and allowing a
“MILLION MAN MARCH”,
“ON THE PULSE OF MORNING”,
She is not
“MOMMA WELFARE ROLL”,
she has spoken to all of us and taught us what
is really all about.
We Love and Salute you Dr. Angelou
The one who has taught us how to Love, Respect, Live and Honor one another.
“WE HAD YOU”
and you will be greatly missed.
GOD has you now
and what an Abyss of Authenticity he allowed us for such a short period of time.
Let us have A Moment of Silence as she accepts her Crown.
“AND STILL SHE RISE”
By: Shahida Peterson
May 28, 2014
At your last book signing at Barnes and Noble Union Sq NYC location I once again went up to have my book signed. When I gave my name you asked me to repeat it and you immediately said “Are you still writing?” Now this conversation was sometime back at a former book signing for another book – but you remembered. I was so touched and speechless because I was going on about how I was blocked and how I first met you at The National Black Theatre in Harlem when “Caged Birds” first came out everything I probably had uttered a thousand times before. But you remembered me. I am in tears right now at work. You said to try and write something anything everyday. I will always remember that day. Thank you again and again. May God Bless and keep you in his care. Peju
Thank you so much Auntie Maya your words will always be in my heart, take your rest now.
My condolences to the family of Dr. Maya Angelou. May God give you peace in your time of sorrow. Dr. Angelou shared her wisdom and inspired many on her journey through life. She lives on in our hearts and in her words. A true Angel!
Fair winds, calm seas on your journey.
Condolences to Dr. Angelou’s family on her passing. I met her in 1992 in Tampa, Florida, where she spoke at the University of South Florida inspiring all of us there. She was such a giant who was human, real and inspirational. God bless her.
Family & Friends of Dr. Maya Angelou: your loss is truly felt & I pray for peace and comfort for you.
Although I never met this phenomenal woman, she truly impacted my life. I read ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ in my early teen years (shortly after the 1969 publishing), I saw the movie as well. It pierced my heart, soul and spirit! I followed many things she wrote. However her writing ‘I Rise’, bought me to my realization that no matter what ever happened to me in my life, those circumstances never defined who I was! I thank GOD for bringing this astounding woman to the forefront! She has been a true blessing, at least to me, if no one else. I cried only at one other celebrity death! I cried when she passed! I cried for her wisdom will not produce new wisdom! Yes I know it was selfish on my part, however, many times when I was down, her words were my lifeline to get back up!
May her wisdom live on, her spirit rest in peace.
Our first encounter with Dr Angelou was in 1995. She was ever present at an event simply called Maya Angelou and Friends, in a city and amongst people who had barely heard of her, yet alone seen her. The event started at 10:35pm and my then teenaged daughter and I were captivated by the presence of this statuesque woman who swayed, sang and delivered in style, never missing a beat. Dr Angelou journeyed to Toronto on numerous occasions since then, and without a doubt,the experience each time was joyous and unique. Rest in eternal peace, Dr Angelou, our ancestors await you. You have earned your sleep. Thank you.
My sincere condolences to Dr. Angelou family and friends. You will truly be missed. The angels are standing tall with you in their presence.
As a teenager in high school, I remember reading the words and poems of Dr. Maya Angelou introduced to me by my 10th grade English teacher. Dr. Angelou had such profound grace and wisdom, I became mesmerized by the sheer sound of her voice because I always knew that with every word she spoke there was something to learn from her speaking. She inspired me so much that I pursued and completed a bachelor’s degree in communications so that I too, one day, can lift someone up with words just how Dr. Angelou’s words have lifted me. Dr. Angelou you were TRULY a Phenomenal Woman!! Rest in Paradise!!
You will be missed and you also touch so many heart with your thoughts, God has a queen in his kingdom.
Her often quote words of “people will forget what you say, but always remember how you made them feel is so true.” I still remember how she always made me feel so proud and so great. She was a wonderful lady and will be greatly missed.
Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for giving me the courage to believe in myself and to love myself even though I had made many mistakes. Thank you for reminding me that I am a “Phenonmenal Woman”! Thank you for introducing me to the love of poetry!! I shall for ever be indebted to you for loving others as much as I love God! Rest my Soror – you are truly an “Ivy Beyond the Wall”!
Even though we never meet you had a presence in my life. Your words touched me and allowed me to release and grow. When God allowed you to rest in my spirit I knew he spoke these words to you “WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFULL SERVANT.”
You will be greatly missed. Your words will be forever in our hearts and souls teaching from one generation to the next. Gone but never forgotten.
As-Salaam Aliakum. To the Family, Friends of Dr. Maya Angelou. When I heard that Dr. Maya Angelou had passed, I was in shock and sad of her passing. Any time I heard that Dr Maya Angelou was going to be in Chicago, I would go to see her. It was a honor to know her, she was a beautiful woman full of love, grace, wisdom, knowledge and how to forgive and overcome anything in life. She will always be a wonderful example to me. LOVE AND PEACE. Olivia Muhammad of Chicago, ILL.
Thanks for your inspiration and motivation. Because of your encouraging words in song and poetry we find the strength to “still rise” day after day, trial after trial. In His Service, from all of us at Dorcas Ministries.
Dr. Maya Angelou, thanks for all the contributions you made. R.I.P. you beautiful lady. You will be greatly missed.
Your contributions on this earth will forever remain in our hearts and spirits. I truly believe you have lived your purpose and you have done so well. I Thank You for who you were, an inspiration to me and others around the world. So glad you had a peaceful transition to the spirit world and I know that your energy will be felt forever and ever. Thank you Maya, Thank You!
Blessings to your family and friends. Stay strong!
Your songs on paper inspired generations in my family. We are heartbroken that you have gone on but so glad you have blessed so many. Although your work is done here, your words are still like fine wine…it gets better over time.
Tammy, Kiara and Charles
Maya Angelou was one of my favorite poets. She was in
my view, Grace Personified. She was a strong woman
with an indomitable Spirit and an Amazing Grace.
Her words so often touched the core of my Soul. She
had a way of making me see things differently and always
for all the right reasons. I learned from her poetic works
that we ” All matter ” …
The beautifully written poem that Maya wrote for
Nelson Mandella’s Tribute speaks volumes and one line
that I particularly recall is “.”No sun outlasts it’s sunset but
will rise again and bring the dawn.”
Now her ‘Day is Done ” from this mortal coil she parts
to rise up into the Havens where she will share her
indomitable Spirit for all ‘ eternity ‘
© 2014 Jani7744 (All rights reserved)
Rest in Peace Dr Angelou
I knew of Maya Angelou, at first, when she was introduced by Oprah back then in her show. She had that aura that I cant find the right words to say…her presence awed me…her words are inspiring…She will be missed but not FORGOTTEN!
What an inspiration for All. Mrs. Angelou’s life should serve as the example in which every person strives to understand the significance of learning how to wear your own truth so that you can live as your authentic self and perhaps become a fraction of the powerful and magnificent being that is Maya Angelou. Thank you for your humanity, patience, perseverance, activism, Creativity, and your LOVE!
Dr. Maya Angelou taught me to fly, to soar, to rise and about the swing of my hips. I learned to be a powerful female, to value myself and others and I began my intense love of poetry because of her. The “caged bird” is flying free now and will continue to be a rainbow in a cloud, somewhere to someone. God bless her family and close friends. What an honor to have her as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and close friend but she was a gift to the world and for that I am grateful.
Nancy Webber, right, with Dr. Maya Angelou ( I tried to paste the photo that was on Bank of America’s website, my company)
It was June 29, 2013 when I received the Maya Angelou/ Elizabeth Ross Dargan UNCF Lifetime Achievement Award presented to me by Dr. Maya Angelou. She made me feel like a queen. That was a very important and happy day for me. Later that afternoon, at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Spurgeon Webber, III, I gave Dr. Angelou a hug and told her
” I love you” Her reply was ” I love you too” . This is the 12th year of the luncheon and for 11 years she never missed the UNCF Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon. The ball room at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC would be filled with ladies dressed in their finest with beautiful hats of all shapes and colors. She would enter and light up the room. We will miss your sweet spirit. I think God for allowing me the honor of your presence for so many years. I am blessed to have known you and will always love you.
We pray that God will provide the family with all that is needed to adjust to the loss of their loved one.
Love and Prayers,
Nancy Webber – 6/2/14
My dear Maya Angelou. Now you can inspire all of the angels in heaven. May the Lord touch you with giant golden wings.
Last week, May 28 while reflecting on Dr Angelou, how her life and lessons encouraged me, I wrote this on my Facebook timeline: I wonder what would happen if some of us would share our “Maya Stories” here over the next few days on facebook? I have one that I’ve told a few times. Here it is again, this time told with even greater respect: I was a college junior at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC in 1971 when I attended a “talk” with the then “Miss Angelou” in the University Chapel. I had not yet decided what I would do for my life’s work. I was leaning toward social work. Her first autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, had achieved best-seller status and more. I had read it, ravishingly. My own family members and I could relate to many of her early life experiences which she covered in that profound work. There were only a dozen or so students in attendance. I don’t remember if any of our professors attended. I do remember thinking how ridiculously minimizing this low number turn out might seem to this very special new author and poet. Nevertheless, she was very relaxed and engaging with us. Very unassuming, dressed in a modest head wrap, nice blouse and jeans, she could have been an “older student” working on an advanced degree. There was an ease about her and conversation flowed easily. We were dealing with some very, very heavy issues then, you know. Black Power, the Black Panthers, Dr M L King’s Assassination, the Viet Nam War, birth control pills, “free sex”, funk music, message songs, Affirmative Action, etc. During that evening “talk”, it became clear to us that she already had many wise thoughts and things to teach, to share. Things about being Black In America. About being true to yourself regardless of race, gender or persuasions. I complimented her and thanked her for her inspirations, then asked for her autograph in my worn paperback copy of Caged Bird. She obliged, rather matter-of-factly. I remember thinking “She sure doesn’t seem to take herself that seriously. But what a great writer! What an interesting woman”. Little did I know, then! Today, I treasure my early copy of your first book so much more, Dr Angelou. You have indelibly taught us and inspired us. God bless your memory and your work, always.
With deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. Maya Angelou. I am sorry for your loss and will remember in prayer.
“…A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30 (King James Version).
Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou (Teacher) of many. Growing up I would recite your poems in my African attire and I would smile in the mirror. Your poems and your beautiful brown skin gave me identity and dignity. I am grown with children of my own now, and I look to your words to help uplift me. Dr.Maya Angelou (Teacher), your words of wisdom and knowledge will live on for generations to come. You are “A Phenomenal Women.”
Thank you again ♡
Thank you very much DR. Angelou. Your wisdom,
knowledge,love for GOD and the Human race will
be truly missed. I will miss watching you and Miss
Oprah sharing hope and wisdom to this world,
REST MY SOLIDER.
DR DANNYE ANDERSON IN SAN FRANCISCO,CALIFORNIA
“We are confident, I say and willing rather to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” II Cor. 5:8 (King James Version). “What a blessed consolation!”
We were sorry to hear about the death of such a wise woman (Proverbs 31) Dr. Maya Angelou.
We are thinking of you and praying for you during this time of sorrow.
Years ago I had the opportunity of meeting Maya, at first I was a bit over whelmed by her presence and radiance… until she motioned me over and signed her book for me. I did not know whether I should bow at her presence or past out before her majestic illumination reflection. The world community heard the voice of Ms. Maya Angelou, when she emphatically stated: ” still… I rise” teaching us to stand tall above our rejected circumstances ! I personally thank you – my sistah, my queen mother, today, I am better than I was the day before meeting you. ” The breath of eternity has given you cause to exhale” R.I.P ( ps. say hi for me, to Malcom , Martin, and Nelson gone but not forgotten)
Thank you Maya! You have encouraged and inspired me since I was sixteen when your book was required reading for my English Lit class.
May God comfort your family and friends during this time of bereavement!
To the family of Dr. Angelou, I say THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful gift. My love of reading was gifted to me by Dr. Angelou’s love of writing. May God’s comfort and peace be with you not just during this time, but always.
Our thoughts and prayers are giving to the beloved family of this global poet and teacher
whom has woke up our children into a new area of remembering our history.
We feel blessed and joyful in saving some of the teaching she has instilled in us all.
May the angels be with you. I know Dr. Angelou will keep smiling on all of us as we excel to
better heights in learning.
Your community Servant Global
Elder Anthony Porter,
My prayers go to the family of your personal loss.I have always since my twenties after reading her poetry and novels this is a person I need to know more about.The world has lost a special person and will never be the same in the literary world. RIP,Dr. Maya Angelou
I remember reading her poetry especially And Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman and thinking I love those poems and the woman who wrote them. Miss you Dr Maya tremendously!!!
Your life served as such a great inspiration for me — even though my parents were Italian immigrants to Canada, I feel so connected to your autobiographies because so much of your lived experience was also lived by my ancestors…
your words will live on forever…you are the master of the autobiographical narrative, and of helping people to have the courage to be the best they can be…
thank you Dr. Angelou for sharing your life stories to influence others to make positive changes in their own lives and in their communities.
all my love, your student, Melina
I’ll never forget opening the pages of Why the Caged Bird Sings and being transported into a story that was so different, yet strikingly similar to my own. Dr. Maya Angelou opened a world to me that I never imagined would lead me to one day becoming a library director. We are kindred spirits, in that a visit to the library shaped her life and mine in such profound ways. Thank you Dr. Angelou for sharing your story and for inspiring me to share mine. You will certainly be missed, but never forgotten!
All my life…..You are the Supreme Author/Poet of MY time! Please greet Zora for me!
THANK YOU so much for showing me how great one can be who chooses to live a devout life of Truth and Love.
Because of beautiful Maya I am able to be my authentic self! Because of who she was, I am now able to feel free to let my little light shine. God truly blessed us all with this magnificent woman! Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for your wisdom, your love and light!
Matthew 25:21 and 23 sums it up best, His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Just replace the him with her and count it all joy. Rest In Peace, Maya Angelou
We had the distinguished opportunity to interview Dr. Maya Angelou twice for our publication, Beautifully Said Magazine. From the pages of her books we read [in school] to hearing her compassionate voice impart life into others, including ourselves, was life changing for us.
She was more than an interview subject. She was a woman who lived life to make it better for so many. She knew the importance of words and treated them delicately, that what she spoke was always love, encouragement and growth.
We will continue to honor the life and legacy of our literary mentor both individually and professional. Dr. Angelou is the very reason we operate as positive journalism– because there’s still room for it and someone needs to hear that “joy” exist at all times, even through the challenges, we just have to quiet ourselves that it shows up and we continue to RISE.
Thank you Maya Angelou. We are blessed that our paths crossed.
*Condolences to the family and the many that loved this remarkable woman.
La Trisha McIntosh and La Tasha Taylor
Beautifully Said Magazine
Maya Angelou’s poetry was the manna of my youth. My love of poetry, of truth began with her words. Thank you.
I met Maya Angelou back in 1980, while a student in Dolly McPherson’s freshman English composition class at Wake Forest. This was before Dr. Angelou’s affiliation with the university; Dr. McPherson had simply invited her friend to speak with us, a handful of young students. Corny as it sounds (I’m just gonna say it), I felt the air change when Maya Angelou entered the room. Her presence. Electric. Confusing. Exciting. Wondrous. She was a phenomenal woman (before I had even heard of, much less read the poem); I needed no one to tell me she was a force, a bigger-than-life soul. The energy of Maya was just there, here, there. She spoke of her writing process; her habit of wearing only a large caftan with nothing else underneath which might inhibit or stifle her writing, the only other item on her body being a hat, with which to hold her thoughts in her head until she could put pen to paper, “I cannot let my thoughts escape,” she smiled fiercely, broadly, raising her eyebrows and eyeing us individually. It was the first time that I really understood the phrase “thoughts are things”.
Dr. Angelou spoke of surrounding oneself with good people who are encouragers, and of not allowing others in one’s presence to gossip or tear another human being down. She explained that at her many dinner parties, she never hesitated to abruptly stop conversation if she heard negativity, “Stop! I do not allow that type of talk at my table!” As I listened, I marveled. I wondered if it were possible for me to do this with friends, with acquaintances, without seeming rude. Obviously Dr. Angelou knew with a strength and a correct sense of rightness (not righteousness) what I did not, that it was a matter of who was the one actually being rude in this situation!
This sense of rightness extended to protecting herself from those who would try to injure her with their criticism, especially from those who were so-called friends, using veiled words (we all know the type…people who use sly comments about our “different” new haircut(!) or “nice” new outfit(!), all the while meaning the opposite of good). Dr. Angelou declared to us…throwing her head down and her hand up in a STOP gesture…that she did not let others “pick, pick, pick at [her] bones” with their words. It was unnecessary and hurtful, especially when coming from someone whom one considered a friend. That was the yardstick of a real friend– are they picking or building– and be prepared to believe one’s gut about that!
Maya Angelou was brave to write her truths and put them out there for perusal by the world; knowing, I am sure, that some would judge her– and some would understand–but perhaps not knowing that some would cling to her words for dear life. Her gift was in knowing which of those camps to care about and which to disregard. In this respect, she lived the serenity prayer; making a difference in the lives of others if she could, and accepting if she could not. All she could do was her best, and in that she succeeded spectacularly.
She was truly a phenomenal women and she touch the lives of many. Dr Angelou stood for a lot and did a lot for all. May you rest and peace for now you are above the clouds where rainbows are made Rest in Peace
Ernest J. Dorsey US Navy Ret.
Dr. Maya Angelou, your “work” has spoken volume to a nation. Your voice will continue to be elevated by it’s tone and diction. I am proud to have had the opportunity to hear thou active voice as it has reminded us of how we are to aspire to greatness. The Power of your words will forever be engrafted in the hearts of generations to come, this day we RISE to that greater place in History. We this day, identify the humanitarian that you once were and as you leave a legacy for all to ponder, we surrender blessings for the time you were giving to us! Rest In Peace spiritual ancient soul.
Kim R. Harris
Dr. Angelou, thank you for all the lessons and wisdom you shared with all of us. I will carry it with me forever. You were one of a kind and world is a better place because you were here. You will be missed.
Now I really know why the caged bird sings. Sing on, my beautiful Maya. To God be the glory.
You were and will always be the greatest teacher in humanity. How to love one another and cherish each day. Thank you!! Love you!!
Thank you, Maya, for being a part of my life and my world. We are all children of God but we sometimes forget that but you teach us that we are all children of God and to live our lives that way. I have never met you in person but you have been a part of my life for many years. You do not judge people by their skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or any other insignificant quality – we are all equal in God’s eyes. Over the many years that you were of this earth you taught us so much but, to me, the most important thing I learned from you is that there will always be clouds but there will also be rainbows. When there are clouds, go around them, go over them, go around them and search for the rainbow. Although you are no longer with us in body, you will always be with us in spirit and the world is a better place because you were here.
Maya is in an inspiration to me because of the fact that I am a single black mother. She showed me that there is nothing we can not do as along as we keep the faith and stay on the straight road.
Thank You God for giving us Maya.
Thank you. That’s the one thing I was certain I wanted to say to you. But as I write I feel the need to elaborate. I have not done a lot with my life that I am proud of but whenever I witnessed your presence, Maya, either on television or in print, it was in those moments that I was just so thankful that I was alive….I had survived…I still had hope…a dream. My God! Look at your life! God truly loved you. And….He loves me too. Thank you.
Dr. Angelou moved thru life with grace…may that grace fill the hearts of the family in these hours of loss and in the days of their lives ahead.
I was drawn to Dr. Maya Angelou by hearing her voice on TV. So calming and so true with every word clear and meaning understandable. She will always be my storyteller through her books and poetry. Everything I continue to read of hers opens my mind and heart more. Her teaching has been a blessing to so many. Her teachings must not stop with the insight and wisdom her words express for all humanity. Sharing this: “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share. We are blessed that there is within our reach enough of all we need.” Dr. Maya Angelou.
I know better and I have done better. Thank you for the gift of a lifetime.
Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
My condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Maya Angelou.
I knew of Dr. Angelou when I came to Wake Forest as a freshman. I met her once on campus but never took any of her classes. It’s one of the few things I regret about my time as a student at Wake Forest. After graduating I worked at WXII-TV in Winston-Salem as a writer/producer for various projects. One day I received a call From Jim Steele, who worked with Dr. Angelou, about coming to her home to record a video message. Needless to say we jumped at the opportunity. We went to her home, set up in her living room and recorded a video message to Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who is one of my personal heroes. It was surreal to be there, and I was honored to just play a part in that exchange between two American icons. I remember how she treated me with such respect, how genuine she was, and how friendly she was to our crew. It made quite an impression. Dr. Angelou must have liked our work because we received many requests for similar projects after that. They ranged from a video birthday message to Oprah, to one of the first recordings of her inauguration poem for Bill Clinton. Each time I sat there mesmerized, witnessing something special and historic, and being thankful that I was able to play a small part. On my second trip to her home, she greeted me by calling my name. I always found it odd or even a bit over-the-top that she referred to everyone by their last name. “Mr. Shepherd, so good to see you today.” Even after we became more well-acquainted, she would still refer to me in a formal manner. One day, as we were waiting for the set up of camera and lights, she invited me to sit with her at her kitchen table. She offered me iced tea, and we sat and drank and talked. She wanted to know more about me: where I came from, my parents’ background, my experience at Wake, my hopes and dreams. I was taken aback that someone of her stature would want to know anything about me. As we spoke, I worked up the nerve to ask her some questions as well. She was so honest and forthcoming, it surprised me. But it gave me even greater insight into the greatness of Dr. Angelou. I finally asked her why she continued to use such formal greetings, even to people she was familiar with. To the best of my recollection, she simply stated, “It’s about respect, Mr. Shepherd. The world would be a better place if we all had respect for one another. It’s my way of honoring you as a person.” I had many more interactions with Dr. Angelou. But that one experience of just a few minutes sitting at her kitchen table, drinking her iced tea, and learning a life-lesson from a literary legend will always stand out as my favorite. Thank you, Dr. Angelou for your kindness, your dignity, your respect. I will never forget.
Our love and prayers go with Dr. Maya Angelou’s family and many friends. Oprah said it best, “When you lose someone you love, you gain and ANGEL” you know”. We now have a very special angel in our lives, we must make changes for better while holding her memory close to our hearts, as she’ll always be with us.
Dr. Maya, please tell Jesus, my beloved Parent’s, Brother, Nephew and my loving Husband I/We said hello and that they are so missed but NEVER forgotten.
With Love forever and a day,
The world is sad but you’re with the BEST now and that enlightens our hearts,
Shielda “Swoopn” Jenkins and son Johnell H. (Lil Moon) Jenkins
I was an innocent scared student from Africa. I was far from home and lonely. Then I went to the Library one day and found a copy of “I know why the caged bird sings” I loved the book. Her life inspired me. She was extremely courageous, she fearlessly chased her dreams wherever they took her. I’m no longer afraid. I try new things and now when I walk into a room, I don’t tremble because i’m different, I smile and wonder who’s going to want to speak with me first because i’m different. She taught me its great to be unique.
Thank you for your various gifts, your legacy will lives on. I was truly insipired by you from a very early age until you were called to Heaven. Rest in peace Dr Maya the world is poorer without you.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr. Angelou, you have left us with a great legacy and we will remember you – always. Thanks for being an inspiration!
Thank you Maya Angelou for artfully and skillfully putting into words those wonderful “knowings” that powerfully resonate with all of humanity.
“…as if we’ve got gold mines digging in our own backyard…”
To the family and friends of Sister Maya as she told us she wished be called, our world has lost the Earthly presence of a true shero. We are so blessed to have her body of work left to provide us with such wonderful memories. Since she told us she saw a “rainbow in every cloud”, I will think of her every time I see a rainbow from now on. I wish your family peace.
I DID HAVE THE PLEASURE OF MEETING YOU PERSONALLY. ONLY KNEW YOU FROM THE HISTORY BOOKS IN SCHOOL/TV & THE INTERNET. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DID & ACCOMPLISHED.
“Her spirit is very loud. She is continuing to be heard even after her body has gone on. She will continue to be a force that the world knows of. She healed so many people with her words of encouragement. She will truly be missed. Such a talented woman and such a great personality that the world was improved for having had her in it. Thank the Lord for carving such a phenomenal individual out of such meager and humble beginnings. Such was her life. God Bless.”
I Thank you for being a fantastic poet and prose writer. I could say much more, but I hope that “THANK YOU!!” for all of humanity covers it all.
Prayers of comfort to the Wake Forest University Faculty, Staff, Students and Johnson Family.
Dr. Angelou was a precious jewel that taught us through her poems and books. She showed us how to Live, Love, Teach and Learn. What an inspiration – your lessons will go on to teach and encourage.
Thank you for sharing her with the rest of the world.
Tamika Bowman-Williams/Summerville, S.C.
My sincerest condolences to the students,faculty, and staff
of Wake Forrest University on the loss of
the most distinguished poet, author, human rights activist …and national treasure,
Dr. Maya Angelou. Through her work I found the courage to write,
to examine my childhood, to better understand my family history, and
courageously claim my place in the world.
Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou – I will miss your words of wisdom.
Art Historian, Museologist, Poet
President, American Women’s Heritage Society and
Underground Railroad Museum at Historic Belmont Mansion
GOD PUT A RAINBOW IN THE SKY..
BLESS YOUR FAMILY…
To Maya Angelou’s family, my sincerest condolences. Her presence will always be with us. She was a mighty force for good! I finished reading her book, “Mom & Me & Mom” this past year. It helped me understand her so much better. To her son, Guy Johnson, I empathize with your feelings now. I too lost my mother when she was 86. It does not matter what age a mother is when they die, it just matters that they are physically no long there to call on the phone or write a note to. So, to Guy, please take care of yourself. Your mom is still looking at you and she’ll always be a part of you.
Lifelong NC Resident, Former Public School Teacher
Chapel Hill, NC
Dr. Martin Luther Kings said, “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last,” and Nina Simone sang, “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free,” yet, I did not know how freedom felt until I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Thank you Dr. Maya!!!!!
Maya always felt like Maya, not Dr. Angelou. As a young black woman, living and working in a white world, she made me believe I was equal to anyone and any task I wanted to embrace.
She was a gift to all of us, sadly only on loan.
Dr. Maya Angelou was one of the reasons I fell in love with writing. Her words have been a source of comfort and soul cleansing when needed. I had the pleasure of meeting her several times when I lived in Winston-Salem and every time she was always the same. She couldn’t remember my name, but she remembered my face and always called me ‘Sister’.
My ‘Sister’ has gone home and things are about to get literary up there!
Condolences to her family.
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Maya Angelou. The world has experienced a great loss, and personally, she inspired me to write:
There is virtually no greater gift.
Dr. Angelou was a mother, educator, social activist and a fighter for African Liberation
May she Rest in Peace, Her Day is Done
To My African Sister Maya,
I first heard of your passing on a Gospel Radio station this morning to join the pantheon of our African Warrior Ancestors. King Shaka Zulu, Hon. Marcus Garvey, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Dubois, Osagyefo Nkrumah, Haile Salassie, Malcom X, Dr.ML King, Kwame Ture, Corretta
King, Bob Marley, Paul Robeson Hugo Chavez and many others would receive your company for a life well lived for Africa and Africans freedom. We met on several occasions -the National Black Arts Festival, National Black Theater Festival, “Tea With Maya” at NC State
and the Million men March. The years in Egypt, Liberia and Ghana deepened your commitment to African Liberation Struggle; you provided for the youth generation to fulfill that historic mission. May the African Ancestors welcome your soul as a fine brave warrior!
Due, due, due!!
I would like to offer my condolences to Dr. Maya Angelou’s family and friends. I have such admiration for Dr. Angelou’s life and writings! Both have been an inspiration to me. She showed us that with God anything is possible. Thank you, Dr. Angelou!
Well done good and faith servant, Dr. Angelou, well done.
We moved to Winston-Salem in 2004 and saw her in person at Bookmarks that September where she read “Still I Rise.” I thought right then, and many times since, she has the voice of God.
You touched the hearts, minds, and souls of so many people around the world.
You took the darkness of hate and struggle and turned them into love.
You took the broken mind-sets of man and changed them to bright colors of a rainbow.
Then you quietly slipped away in peace where eternal love, joy and happiness brightly glow.
Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou ….
Picture a shy nerdy young girl with sweaty palms and shaky hands being forced to perform for her schools talent show. My mom suggested that I recite Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’. By the time I left the stage I was full of confidence and pride and received my first and only standing ovation. I have loved her writing and found my story in her stories and poetry from that moment until now.
South Bend, Indiana
Sister Maya was an inspiration to the world , an icon that had filled our lives with joy your precious memories will be with us forever more – my sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Ms. Angelou.
Maya Angelou may have passed away, but her Humanity is immortalized in her Art. This venerable bard touched the souls of All God’s Children. A poem I wrote for her about a decade ago, will serve as my tribute to one of the most inspirational geniuses of our time:
On The Maya Angelou Art (For Maya Angelou)
I met her on the pages
Along the corridors of Literature
smelting images of Love
weaving nests of Hope
crafting lessons of Life
from the strands of diction
this “six-foot, black, and female”
a reservoir of resilience
Art of Courage !
the lines, sinews of Valour
the stanzas, diaphragms of Courage
All, STILL RISE
Against the backdrop of the page
And the Bard sings on…
Art of Freedom !
from the luminous ceiling
of her pages
hangs a Cage
with a singer in it
melodies for the soul
sweet notes that inspire
spring from the vents of the Cage
songs of freedom
for All of God’s children.
The Bard sings on…
Art of self-discovery
on the wings of Her-story
the reader, a pair of shoes
travels to Self
and to the world.
An African airport
A white hand reaches for a black hand
Art of Love!
for us, “who dare not dare,”
the singer sings:
embrace your own
“humanity which I am,” so that
“you will learn the words of Love.”
Humankind, why don’t you sing?
Sheikh Umarr Kamarah
(From Singing in Exile)
Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most influential human beings of all time. I make that statement as profoundly as she lived her life. This phenom of a woman left her mark on me when I was a young girl reading what is to be called her greatest literary work, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. This book changed my life. It was upon reading this book that I knew my love for words would carry me far in life. I began to try and quench a thirst for words and knowledge that seemed to never end. This grand lady would later in my life come to be the subject of my English term paper. While writing this paper God would allow our paths to cross. Yes, I was blessed to not only meet Dr. Angelou but to have a conversation with her! That is a day that I will never forget. She made such an impact on me with her grand statuesque form. This woman wore a simple long black velvet gown that seemed to flow with her spirit without effort. It was as if the garment itself knew that it was an honor to drape her body…it was no longer just a simple gown it’s owner had made it a wonderful force that indeed added to her presence. Ms. Angelou recited her poem “Phenomenal Woman” during her appearance. I sat in awe of this creature that God had lent our world to enjoy and to learn from. Not only did I glean from her I kept how she made me feel to be a phenomenal black woman in that very moment.
I was deeply saddened when I heard of Dr. Angelou’s passing. I know that there is no longer breath in her physical body. Oh but her spirit will always be with us. Everyone that got the chance to meet her, whether it was in person or in one of her books. We will never ever forget this grand woman who stood tall for her race and for humanity.
My youngest daughter bears the Maya Angelique’. I named her after Dr. Angelou. She knows that name carries with it an honor. An honor that I have always prayed that my child would have a few of the characteristics of her namesake. I am pleased to announce that my daughter is an honor student. She loves to read and write…yes she loves to write stories and poems.
Dr. Maya Angelou rest in the peace of your wonderful, awesome, blessed Creator!
Mrs. Cindy Cherry-Graham
I received an “A” on my term paper on Dr. Angelou! Having a chance to meet her and having her to sign my title page may have helped with my grade just a bit!
Today I rise and resolve my doubts to overcome my fears. I have been lied to, and I have been held down. Dr. Maya Angelou words spoke to me– to be brave and to move ever so closer to the true essence of my being. Her words, if she was here with me now, would say that I should love the life I live and live the life I love because it’s to live that gives meaning to my life.It was her life that gave me life. And it’s her love that makes me love.
In the dark,I was once afraid but now I am more afraid as I walked into the light. The light overtakes darkness and I am more afraid from what I can see.
I am free in my thoughts. I am free as I overcome my fears. I am moving ever so closer to the man I will be because I am free.
Dr. Angelou has inspired me, and she has motivated me to reach within myself and to pull out what I am – not to be afraid, but to accept what I am and shine as bright as the sun. I Thank you Dr. Angelou.
May your soul rest in peace. Tony Hayes – Toronto Ontario,Canada
Thank you for all of your many gifts of poetic words and thoughts that you’ve given all of us over these many years. Your Spirit will remain eternal.
Dr. Maya Angelou,
I say this with the deepest form of respect I have ever said to anyone, living or passed..Thank you so much for doing what you did. Thank you for being such an amazing author. “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is my all time favorite. Thank you for literally having the most poetic voice and the most poetic way with words. You emulate such dignity and courage, and I respect you in the most sincere way. You truly were outstanding and you are one of the few who can say they’ve really won at life. I hope one day to have the essence and wisdom you had.
Professor Brown, from my Craven Community College public speaking class, was headed over to see you the morning you passed. He had a book with him he was going to have you sign for me…man oh man if I had gotten that signature…it would’ve been more than a signature…it would’ve meant so much to me..you mean the world to me, Ms.Angelou and I wish I would have gotten to meet you in person. You are truly the most inspirational woman there was. You lived a great life. Thank you for showing me what I should do with mine. Thank you for showing me how to live and love to your fullest potential and to always be brave.
I wish I could go on and on…but I’ll end this with an I love you. I never met you in person or had a single conversation with you but I have so much love for you and your family. Well done ma’am.
I truly admired Dr. Angelou and her literary work. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago at a Literary Luncheon at the Carlyle Hotel in New York. I had waited at least 30 years to be in her presence and it was well worth the wait. She was regal, lucid, engaging…almost surreal. As teacher. I relished her works. Her works “opened the eyes” of many young people and gave many young girls a sense of self-worth.
Her legacy will live on. Her wisdom will serve as a template for many people around the world. Her emotional interview with Bill Moyers on PBS is one of my favorites. I shared it with my students for over a decade. I am numb at her passing. but elated that she lived!
Dr. Maya Angelou was a true American treasure. The world is better for having had her pass this way. She has gone home yet her words shall remain with us forever. Sleep Queen until the morning when we shall all rise.
I was very sad to hear the passing of Dr. Angelou, She was an out spoken women who always had kind and wise words.As a women of color she instilled me to strive for education and wisdom. I pray for her family strength and thank God for lending this angle to us for 86 years. Rest In Peace Dr. Angelou, you now will have your wings.
What a gift…thank you so much Dr. Angelou.
Rest high on that mountain in peace. Your work was an inspiration to so many, thanks for sharing your life with I know why the caged bird sings!
It was my honor to interview Dr. Maya Angelou. She gave me my first major interview on my radio talk show. I got up at 3:00 a.m. and was at the radio station early to interview her at
7:00 a.m. She called exactly at 7:00 a.m. After the interview I could not speak for about
ten minutes thinking that I had actually interviewed TRUE AMERICAN LEGEND and listening
to that unique voice and words of wisdom.
“Ms. Minnie” (Radio name)
It was my honor to interview Dr. May Angelou. She gave me my first major interview on my radio talk show. I got up at 3:00 a.m. and was at the radio station early to interview her at
7:00 a.m. She called exactly at 7:00 a.m. After the interview I could not speak for about
ten minutes thinking that I had actually interviewed TRUE AMERICAN LEGEND and listening
to that unique voice and words of wisdom.
Although I never had the privilege to meet Ms Angelou she has always been an inspiring person to me. I listen to her read her poetry and forget the world an it’s issues all around. That was my escape path. She always put me in a better frame of mind. She will be missed by many. RIP Maya Angelou
She moved through our lives like a purposeful planet
imbued with gravity,
shedding light reflected from the God she loved,
sonorous voice capturing all she encountered.
Learning greatness from little,
compassion from pain
and victory from suffering,
she taught us all to “pay attention!”
Even as suns go dark and stars burn out,
their light continues through space and time
until the last eye beholds them.
And so it is with her.
She will continue until the last heart has heard her.
Always a great fan of Dr Angelou, I had the chance to see and hear her speak at Northfield mount Hermon School in 2000 while my daughter was in high school there. she was amazing.May she rest in eternal peace.
Strange, isn’t it? How “truly called” people leave the most indelible marks in time. Dr. Maya Angelou, was one of our time’s perfect examples of God’s plan to teach us needed lessons if we but listened as she spoke or, watched as her actions were powerful demonstrated proof that she was indeed a living example of practicing what she preached.
Maya Angelou was a beautiful woman inside and out, she will be missed by many. Her works shall live on forever.
Debra T. Jones
Dr. Angelou, I have have never met you in person but I met you through ( I know Why the Caged Bird Sings). It is and will always be one of the best books I have ever read. I will miss your Spirit, your beautiful smile. I Love You!!!
I will cherish this quote:
Listen to yourself and in that quitetude you might hear the voice of God.
And Still I Rise,
I first met Maya in high school when I read “Why the caged bird sings”. I have read most of her books. Then I found her on facebook and I could benefit from her wisdom on a regular basis. I think I have been blessed by knowing her. I will miss her.
You were a big inspiration in so many lives. R.I.P.
Over the summers growing up in Gastonia, NC, I worked as a bank teller. And was dulled to tears by the canned “music” system called Muzak. One day, while I was probably nursing a hangover, one of my co-workers who had relocated from NYC asked me, “Who is the WInd Beneath Your Wings?” Sadly, I can’t even remember my response. But her reply was immediate. “Maya Angelou”. When i got back to campus that fall, I stopped by Dr. Angelou’s office, stuck my head in, and asked if she had a sec. Of course, she welcomed me and I told her this story. Without hesitation, she asked me for the name and address of my co-worker. And sent her an incredibly kind letter.
The next semester, I was fortunate enough to get in her “Race and the Southern Experience” class. In a college career checkered with spotty (at best) attendance, I never missed a single one of her classes. What she taught us, and what she taught us to teach each other, is with me still.
I miss you. And remember you with a smile.
Dr. Angelou was one of the greatest storytellers of the late 20th – 21st century. Her words inspired the mind to think on greatness, stroking the heart until it felt greatest in all that you are …And Still We Rise. It is because of reading her that I aspire to be an agent of change… paying it forward to those less fortunate.
I’ve never met this wonderful woman. But she has left something in my heart and soul that will live on forever. R.I.P we love you!!
Dr. Angelou provided a call of action for me when I felt most lost in life. Her words inspired hope in a young girl at a time when life provided seemingly unconquerable burdens. Then came Maya to lift me out of the clouds and hold a mirror to my courage. Into Paradise May The Angels Lead You Dear Lady.
I am sending my sincere condolences to Maya Angelou’s family and friends. She inspired me and so many of my friends with her wit, courage, independent thinking, literary achievement, creative spirit and politics. In tough times, her books were a source of strength. Thank you, Maya Angelou.
For all those who have passed on
May their souls be at peace
For all those who mourn
May they be comforted
As a flight attendant in 1969/70, I occasionally ran across Dr. Maya Angelou in airports. She could not be missed … tall, erect, regal … her hair wrapped with beautiful head scarves.
At the time I had no idea what an impact this author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” would have on my life.
Many years later, as a Wake Forest student, I did not have the opportunity to study with her.
However, we have spent many nights together in my solitude, reading till light.
I am grateful to Dr. Angelou for her thoughts about life experiences, joy, gratitude,
courage, forgiveness & love she has shared with the world.
Her presence will remain.
Marjorie Haston Dannelly
WFU class of 1992
I was so very sorry to hear of the passing of this woman who greatly inspired many women through her lifetime. She inspired me to be a better person, to let go of the past, to forgive my mother, to see pass the ignorance of others, to strive to be the best I can be, to work harder for things in life worth having and to forgive myself.
She will greatly be missed by me. She was one of my inspirational people whom I wanted to meet on day.
Your books and poetry have been an inspiration to me and it have given me so much food for thought. Thanks to you my Dear Sister, I have broaden my horizons and gained a great deal of self confidence from your life stories. I will miss the many words of wisdom you have shared with us.
What a gift Maya has been to so many of us – especially those of us who didn’t read as much as we should have. I give her all the credit for whatever love I have for reading at this point in my life.
Her book “I know why the caged bird sings” was the beginning of a new chapter in my appreciation for reading. I NEVER had an experience where I couldn’t put a book down.
The rest is history. I continue to recommend her work to the masses.
Thanks Maya for sharing your gift with me and the world!
I attended class full-time and worked full-time as an undergraduate at Wake Forest University. Needless to say, I had a turbulent undergraduate experience. Meeting you during my undergraduate tenure gave me the strength to stay the course. Thank you for your shining example, your caring way, and sharing your immense mental strength with me and countless others.
In my darkest hours, I have turned to your words for comfort and inspiration. Though your death is a loss for all of humanity, it will never be felt as acutely by those outside of the Wake Forest University community.
Rest well, ancestor. I owe you a huge debt, which I strive daily to repay.
With Immeasurable Love and Respect,
Charles Elam Gibson III, EdS, MA
PhD Candidate, The Pennsylvania State University
Wake Forest University, The Undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2009
As a native of Winston-Salem, I was 6 years old when Dr. Angelou became the Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University. I, then, began to recognize her name each time I heard it. I loved reading her poetry in my youth and throughout my life. At 13 years old, I met her and shook her hand at the first National Black Theatre Festival in 1989 and I remember telling her that I was honored to meet her. I cherish that memory today and always. Rest in peace! Well Done!
I first saw Dr. Angelou at the Presidential Inaugaration and later on the Oprah show, which was a celebration of a then, 70th birthday. I was awestruck. She was a spiritual powerhouse, full of fun and delighted in kindness and compassion. When Oprah asked her what was the most interesting thing about turning 70, I actually leaned forward to catch what guessed would be a very profound message – the meaning of life. Instead, she smiled and said, “Well, the breasts are interesting. They appear to be on a race to my belt. First the left is winning, then the right…”
I read all her books, attended one of her lectures last year and recite her wise words frequently. She will be dearly missed by all she has touched, but her light will never go out. Welcome home gentle spirit and rest well from a job very well done!
Ekushe Beloved Elder,
Job well done!
You have left great life lessons and cultural treasures that we will pass on.
I honor you and appreciate your faith, spirit and grace. Your eternal legacy is our inheritance.
And now you have earned a well deserved rest.
Rest in Peace, Dr. Angelou….Though we never met, as a Wake alumnus (’61), I can attest that you have made us all proud that you chose Wake Forest to spread your wonders to the world. Deep sympathy to family and friends.
May her memory be for a blessing.
The world is wiser, more tolerant and much less lonely because Maya Angelou shared her prodigious gifts of language, communication and healing with us. Thank you and rest well dear sister.
Here, now, present but departed Dr. Maya Angelou. Victimized at an early age but you changed that to soothe all, and our world. Compassionate Maya. You imbibed free spirit and freely you poured hope, compassion and soothing kindness to the universe. Maya triumphed and we all triumphees of your immense shared blessings. Moses will meet you and be grateful – for you use your words to part the seas of darkness and fear and for freedom; Elijah will be glad you shine the light and our Lord Jesus Christ beckons welcome to His child for the good battle you fought for us all. You serve the universe well. Please be happy in the realms, albeit our universe is still a mess – those girls in Nigeria still kidnapped and terrorism still scoops joys. Our politicians are still pick pocketing. You did well Ma; Dr. Maya. Now we commit you to the dear Angels. Rest adieu, good beloved mother Maya.
Wake Forest was made more elegant by her residency, though Dr. Angelou would deplore the word. What a complete delight she was.
I was stunned and saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of my beloved Mentor/life Couch… in my head. I ‘met’ her writings as a teen, pushing 60 now…but wouldn’t take NOTHING for this journey~~ now! My life is RICH because she is one of the ones that TAUGHT me, by EXAMPLE how to LIVE it! What she IMPARTED to us, as students and as a People is PRICELESS! So today, I am NO LONGER sad and hopeless~ as some may feel….No, for if the ‘Seed’ is cast to the ground and buried~ will it not PRODUCE MORE FRUIT, after its’ kind?!!!! The seeds this GREAT Woman planted within us with her profound writings will CONTINUE to bring in great HARVESTS of like-minded, lovers of ALL that is GOOD with the world~~ for a lifetime!!! So, beloveds, ‘WEEP NOT! Weep NOT! For she IS NOT DEAD’!~~ ‘She IS ONLY, just~ GONE HOME’! (paraphrasing James W. Johnson, Go Down Death ) CELEBRATE, for to be absent from the physical body, means that our Dear One is now, PRESENT WITH THE LORD!!!! HALLELUJAH! Well Done, Maya! :o}
Dr. Maya Angelou was a giant. Larger than life and her life, words and convictions led so many of us to become better, more courageous, and more loving. Today, I am a doctor because she helped me to believe in myself. I will never forget her and will love her forever. Dr. Angelou may you rest in peace in the kingdom of heaven. God Bless you
Dr. Maya Angelou,
Your voice will remain in my heart and my fingertips as I will call on you as my muse. You are such an inspiration and truly are immoralized through your deeds and work. Thank you so much for the example you set of awakening to your own potential and revealing it and tapping into it. Thanking the Almighty for your presence and hoping that we as youth, young women, young authors, young writers, young mothers and fathers, young brothers and sisters–that we can carry the baton that you have passed on to us. Though I have never met you in person, your energy and presence is prominent and close to my heart.
Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou! Sending infinite prayers of blessings and love to you and your successors!
My deepest condolences goes out to the family of Dr. Maya Angelou. She has made such an impact on my life through a lot of her work. She will truly be missed. My prayers go out to the family may God heal all your wounds.
Maya Angelou was a great warrior who didn’t let the struggles in her life bring her down. Although I never met her, I feel as though I knew her. She has impacted the lives of so many people! I had the privilege of reading her books and her poems and she let us know that she wasn’t perfect and she had lots of ups and downs. But this is what shaped her Legacy! Maya, you will certainly be missed. Rejoice In Paradise!!! <3
I have read Maya Angelou’s books and have read her poems and watched her in movies. I wished that I and my daughters could have had a chance to meet her having been so close in Winston-Salem and us in Raleigh. She was a great historian and inspiration and her words can live on to inspire us all in our various hardships and struggles. So sad for such a loss to occur. We have her cherished memories that will live on. Condolences to her family and friends all over the world.
About three years ago a dear friend of mine and I hustled on down to The University of Maryland to hear her speak from the wellspring of her heart. We patiently approached and became a part of the queue that stretched wide and far awaiting a glimpse of this phenomenal woman. As early as we arrived, we still found ourselves a little beyond the mid section of the auditorium where she was later seated. And when that voice that sounds like waters began to pour out over us, we forgot that we weren’t that close to her. It didn’t matter because she made us feel as if we were sitting at her feet.
Thank you, Dr. Angelou for touching all of us!
PEACH SWUNG IN THE VERNACULAR, DAY AFTER MAYA DIED
“Do I dare to eat a peach?”
-T.S. Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock
to Maya Angelou and those who loved her
go ahead on and eat that peach, Mr. Eliot
it’s clear you’ve been away too long
from all the Peach Streets of America
and those old orchards raining their thick golden rains
it’s positively Providential:it’s our
hard turning ot the ice cream stile
we make our own miracles with the help of Sweet Jesus
my oh my my my
peachalicious charming in her Sunday hat
her caftans, gowns, long strands of beads
she was all that and more
every day of the week she’s gone now
from our small town
I’ll never sit down to her caramel cake
a fantasy of mine on my dessertless days
it wasn’t her poems that mattered the most
just like it wasn’t the peach that really mattered to T.S.
it was the goldenness in her oozing out in a voice,
a dusky goldenness, a dark lily shining
insisting you notice something – Life!
and sit up straight
a voice fit for Shakespeare’s queens, a tragedienne’s dream
but she wasn’t that.
she stirred up- something –
everywhere she went
her smile like a huge valentine-volcano
her voice like dark pearls spilling over
beyond the reach of the low flyers always
daring, Mr. Eliot
to eat that peach
and ask for so many more
mary angela douglas 29 may 2014
Thank you for being an inspiration to many people around the world and a revolutionary to this upcoming and previous generations the world has truly lost a gifted beautiful soul
I was privileged to take a course from Dr. Angelou in the 1980’s and she was a teacher like none I have ever had. The first moment of the first day of class she asked everyone to state their names and told us that, from that day forward, she would remember them. She then shared with us a smorgasbord of mind-opening experiences, from slave narrative readings to in-class debates on difficult issues to dinner at her house with her friend Alex Haley. Many years later I saw her in Durham at a dance performance and approached her with my wife to say “hello.” True to her word, she remembered me and exclaimed “HELLO YOUNG MR. STEVENS” in her booming baritone voice, much to my wife’s delight. She will be greatly missed.
I first saw Maya Angelou in the lobby of Reynolda Hall at Wake Forest University in the early 1970s. She was reading from her recent book and holding an open seminar for students. At the time, I had no idea who she was or what she wrote, but in the short time I stopped to listen, I knew she had something important to say. It was certainly a memorable moment. Soon afterwards I read her Caged Bird book, and it opened my eyes to aspects of life that were so different from my own experiences, while offering many universal lessons and truths. Truly a great person.
I heard Ms. Angelou in person at Muskingum College in 1970. It is our loss now that she is gone. Perhaps we can strive to preserve her in spirit.
You made me laugh.
You made me cry.
You made me think.
You will forever be missed. You left your print on this world that will never be forgotten. RIP Dr. Angelou <3
Thank you Dr. Angelou for your words of wisdom and encouragement. You will greatly be missed. I am glad that the world was able to give you your flowers while you were living. We all know that you are in a better place now where you can share you poetic words to the angels above. Rest in Paradise.
Dr. Angelou’s works resonate with people of all ages, creeds and races. As a NC high school teacher and a Wake Forest grad, I am always proud to introduce my freshmen to her as a NC resident and professor at my alma mater.
As Shakespeare wrote of poetry in Sonnet 18: “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see/ So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” Dr. Angelou lives through her writing, wisdom and words. She is a woman for the ages.
Maya Angelou died yesterday morning
In a southern city of my homeland.
She died and now I weep for the people.
Does it not pain you in some way to know of this loss to our community?
Do you not feel an ache deep within your soul at the knowledge of no more Maya?
No more Marguerite?
She said things with words that were powerful.
That she wrote and spoke were powerful and she used them with such care.
She was not frivolous in her use of the language like so many of us others.
And so I weep.
I weep because her Legacy is immense and wide,
Her literary and artistic work so broad and deep,
Such that her passing reveals a great big ‘ole hole.
In the middle of that hole
Is a set of tremendous footprints
That we only have a few that can fill.
We have Pearl. We have Melissa. We have Nikki of course, but who else?
We need so many others and they are too few for the work that needs doing.
The job is so big these days that it now requires many, many Maya’s to hold back the wave of ignorance and in-articulation that threatens the people.
Her light shone so bright that I weep
For fear that going forward no other lights will be able to illuminate the dark
Even were they gathered together in collective artistry could their lights shine even half as bright?
Beacons of intelligence, centered honesty with oneself and others
Great understanding of the importance of One’s Self to the struggle and the fight for Right and Others.
The voice to encourage diligence in the efforts to improve mankind and remind him of the beautiful parts of his nature and the brutal animal that with out a Cautious Posture he may be.
I weep, because her passing reminds me that I have work to do
That I do not want to do
That I did not have to do because she was here.
But now she is gone and how on God’s earth can I and others do our part?
How? For I am nothing.
I hid behind her words, her scoldings, her reminders
She did it best.
She did it with dance. She did it with song.
She did it even with film, and paper, and script.
She did it with The Stage.
Told the world about Me and about Us and about Them.
I did not have to say a thing.
I did not have to write a sentence. I did not have to dance one step or sing one note.
I did not have to define an emotion and existence because she was there to do it.
But she is gone
And I weep for myself and the people.
“She told the world about me and about us and about them.”
Thank you! Thank you for sharing your voice and your articulation of some of life’s greatest struggles and crossroads in a way that connects to the soul and highlights the humanity and equality in in life. Your presence will be greatly missed but your impact will remain enduring!
I was privileged to be able to hear and read your words. Words that seem to come from God’s own mouth. What a great honor he bestowed upon us with the gift of your life. Even as I write this note my eyes fill with tears. I hear your words and my heart fills with hope and my soul weighs heavy with the loss of you. God has you back now, rest in peace great warrior.
You are my inspiration to keep painting I shall miss you a lot.
I wish I had known this gem of a woman. You will greatly be missed Dr. Angelou. I didn’t know you, but listening to you and reading your works makes made me feel like I truly did. Dr. Angelou, I will never forget the way you made me feel. You will truly be missed.
Oh how I wish I could have taken your class. I read your books and poems at the most formative time in my life and I consider that a great blessing. I then heard you speak twice while I was attending the University of Texas At Austin, and to say it was moving is an understatement. I was transfixed. Few people impact the world the way that you did. What an extraordinary life you had and how extraordinarily you shared it with the world. May your beautiful soul rest in peace and derive eternal pleasure in witnessing the lives you touched.
I took a workshop with you and Dolly McPherson, your friend. You lit up the room. People listened to you. You shined. We respected you and learned from you. Thank you.
I cried when I heard the news announcement this morning. Dr. Angelou, thank you for your life, teachings, impact, and legacy!
Forever I will remember hearing Dr. Angelou speak at the MLK, Jr. Celebration hosted by OMA in January 2010. She spoke with such grace and it was all off the cuff! She had no prepared remarks, just her personal memories of a great man and friend. That was the beauty of it. She spoke from the heart and I loved every minute of it. Dr. Angelou, I was never fortunate enough to meet you personally but I will miss you and your loving spirit. Thank you for all you have done on behalf of Wake Forest University and the world!
A life well lived. Glad, Dr. Angelou, you came our way.
Dr. Angelou has always been my hero. Her words spoke wisdom, strength, life, and courage to me throughout my life. One of my favorite quotes from her was found in the 2003 Essence Magazine Special Collector’s Edition.
“Live a fulfilling life. Give yourself time just to be with yourself. Don’t always try to work out problems when you’re alone. Relax. Go for walks. Listen to kids laugh. Breathe deeply and think more profoundly.”
Today, we lost a beautiful soul, a nurturing story-teller, a sage poet, and a profound speaker. Thank you for all you said; thank you for all you shared.
You changed my life the moment I heard you speak at the inaguration.
It was the sound of your voice and the eloquence of your writing.
It was the truth in your words.
You changed how I saw the world.
The world is much better because of your time here. Take your rest…for a life well lived.
My Dearest Dr. Angelou,
Thank you for sharing your experiences and letting me know that as a young girl being molested – that I was not alone.
At the age of 14 (in 1969), your story “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, exposed my secret and gave me a voice that I didn’t know I had. It brought me from darkness to light. Sadly, I truly wanted to meet you and I even have your personal address, but I respected your right to privacy too much to use it or make it public. I only wish I had chosen to write you this note that I’m writing now, a long time ago.
I’ve read every one of your books and have your autograph in an original copy of “Caged Bird”, which I treasure. Thank you so-so much.
My faith, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has me looking forward to seeing you again, here on earth, in the resurrection (John 5:28,29) and meeting your personally as I recite to you “And Still I Rise” and sing you a song. I want to cook you a meal – even though I don’t cook! I want to meet your grandmother and your brother Bailey. I want us to take a trip together, your choice!
So although I am sad at your going to sleep in death… this is not goodbye, but a… so long for now.
Love You Forever,
Our Freshman orientation assignment book in 1973 was “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.” Of all my textbooks that were bought back for about seventy five cents, I still have it and my P-Chem book. I thank Wake Forest for having the insight to introduce us to Dr. Angelou.
Dr. Maya Angelou, I wish I had known you, cooked in your kitchen, danced in your living room, shared a conversation, learned from your teachings. These things you leave behind in your recipes, your music, your words, your poems and I am grateful to know you after all. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. I’m confident there’s a party in heaven tonight. Peace and love to your son, family, friends and colleagues. Most sincerely.
May the many whom you have inspired
In your teachings along the way
Just take a moment – that’s all that’s required
To reflect on your profound life today
That inspiration tends to run so deep
It touches the core of our enlightened souls
The cemented memories in our hearts we keep
As we remember a great one whom the world did behold!
Rest in Peace Dr. Maya Angelou (GFW)
Today the world lost another great one. Maya Angelou’s poetry inspired the world. She will always have a special place in my heart as she was a member of the Wake Forest community and she honed her skills in a place that will always be my home, Harlem, as a member of the Harlem Writer’s Guild. Through her poetry and words of wisdom, Maya will live forever. Let Maya Angelou’s astounding legacy inspire us all to be great as individuals, let her words inspire us all to be courageous. Most importantly, let Maya’s legacy inspire us all to make good use of the time GOD gives us on earth. Maya certainly did….. Rest in Paradise Angel… Job well done!
Harlem Hopscotch by Maya Angelou
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for himself.
In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.
All the people out of work,
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost, I think I won.
Dr. Maya Angelou was an inspiration to me and so many others women of color. She was a woman of beautiful poise and grace. When she spoke it was like being hypnotized and place in a trance. I will miss her deeply. Her words of wisdom will forever be embedded in my mind and soul. She is a legend.
SHE, Dr. Angelou, THE phenomenal woman drew ME to Wake Forest University. For two years she freely and lovingly deposited wisdom within me & countless WFU students. She hosted us in her home and always punctuated the affair with food for the soul and the belly! One semester, she gifted each of us a leather briefcase with our full name etched in gold script. I remember her saying, “I want you to go into the world feeling like somebody, I want you to go into the world with your heads high, but your hearts higher. Remember, you have a name.
Every human being has a name. Never forget to respect others, just as I have respected you.” I never forgot any of the lessons she taught me. So many memories; so little space. She eternally anchored in my heart JOY & COURAGE–she would say, “Ms. Williams hold claim to joy & courage–never ever release them.” I last saw her in DC when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Nestled within that momomentous occasion was immense and inflatable joy. She showered her former students with attention and affection; delighted to learn we were sharing the moment with her. It was marvelous! -Ed Wilson can more eloquently affirm. For me, “I love you too”, was even more marvelous. Those were the last words spoken to me by my favorite WFU professor. #priceless
Her writings were the ones to inspire me most in grad school in a course on Women’s autobiography. At a vulnerable time in my life, she taught me that it’s possible to invent oneself anew, to create the self, to take the raw, unshaped matter of the parts of our past that threaten to cripple us and turn that very stuff into the source of a new life. I will always be grateful for her life.
As we grieve the loss of Dr. Angelou today, one of the truly life-changing teachers, I am grateful for Elizabeth Phillips and Ed Wilson who helped bring her to Wake Forest. As teachers in the 1960’s, they changed my life as Dr. Angelou changed the lives of many Wake Foresters later. The circles of blessing grow ever outward.
Where there’s darkness our eyes are closed, no one will hear a scream,
Where there’s light our eyes are opened, the sound of a voice will be heard,
We must look beyond which is in front of us, and only then will we experience the brightness of the sun.
R.I.P. Dr. Maya Angelou
Thank you to my great teachers Elizabeth Phillips, Tom Mullen, and Ed Wilson for their important part in bringing the great teacher Maya Angelou to Wake Forest. Even though it was after I graduated, I could be proud and enjoy hearing how much the students appreciated her.
I did not know Maya Angelou, but I did have the pleasure to hear her speak both as a student and an employee of Wake Forest University. Each time was a true blessing as the genuineness of her words (and often melodies of her songs) stood so often in contrast to the stiff addresses and formulaic arguments so many bring forth in media and on the stage. Her conversation with Hillary Clinton will always be one of the best conversations I have heard. That she blessed so many people through her beautiful writing and spoken words is without doubt, but it was the clarity and beauty of her soul which shone through her speech which will always encourage me to speak truth. Thank you for your years of joy.
Our Deac, Emilie Waché, ’17, had the good fortune of hearing Maya Angelou speak at Wake Forest University last fall. My favorite quote: “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.”
Power, presence, and passion. Thank you for sharing your life with the world.
Thank you Dr. Angelou for opening my eyes and my ears to the glory and majesty of the human experience. I will remember you, your teachings, your wisdom, and your faith in all of us. Thank you for letting me sing to you and to your mother. Thank you for the wonderful meals. Thank you for opening your home and your heart. Thank you for everything.
Our hearts are saddened in the demise of Dr. Maya Angelou. This phenomenal woman of God now safely rest in the arms of Jesus. We will continue to pray for her son and family during this hour of bereavement. Remember the words of our Lord, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Cast your cares upon Him for He loves and He cares” for you. Gone but not forgotten I will forever share her legacy and words of wisdom and encouragement to generations to come.
Agape and In His Service,
Minister Theresa Watkins & Family
What a wonderful gift you were!! Words can not explain the ways in which you inspired, and fed my soul. Your work here is finished indeed but your spirit lives always in every little girl that grows into a strong woman. God Bless the family. My prayers and condolences.
I have always wanted to meet Maya Angelou. Although I have never met her in person, I met her through the reading of her autobiographies. She was truly a phenomenal woman. She will continue to live on in my life through her written words.
My heartfelt condolence to all her family and friends around the world.
Dr. Angelou was a great inspiration to all, and her love for education and English is one thing that really drives me as an English teacher! She will greatly missed, but her impact shall forever linger. May God continue to be with the family during this time.
I met Maya in the early ’70’s. She was part of the Lecture Series. DeTamble was packed.
As one of the few African-American students, I knew the campus was in for a treat and she delivered. Afterwards, she was like the Pied Piper, mesmerizing everyone who sat and stood at her feet. Thankyou Maya for your energy, passion, love of education and all students. Rest In Peace, Maya. Well Done!
The world has lost a great humanitarian, poet, teacher and a jewel of a person who has taught us how to love and be loved and how to be comfortable in our own skin. Her many quotes, poems, and books will definitely carry on her legacy, life and purpose. We will truly miss her but we are grateful for having such a great person to have shared her life with us. May God comfort her family and close friends.
I met Maya in the early 70’s when she was part of the Lecture Series. DeTamble Auditorium was packed. As one of few African-American students, I was so proud that all students would get the opportunity to experience her wit, wisdom, energy and passion for education and students. She delivered and was better than advertised. Afterwards, she was like the Pied Piper. Folks were at her feet begging for more. Thank You, Maya. Wake Forest and the rest of the world are lesser places without you.
I am saddened to learn about the death of Maya Angelou &, reading the obits on her, realize even more what an amazing & fascinating woman she was. I was privileged to hear her speak & read her poetry at UNC-Chapel Hill when in graduate school there in the 2000s. She read a funny poem that was a slam against vegetarians that dealt w/ the love of meat. And I remember she said something along the lines of who are we to know what goes on in another’s soul & it was as if she was looking at me as if she knew that thought would hit me. She also mentioned that she was glad to be invited to speak at UNC-Chapel Hill, after all she lived just down the road. Now as a college professor of history I share the documentary African American Lives 2 with my students & know that they learn from her poignant recollections about the Jim Crow South. I’m sure that I first became aware of her per her poem at Clinton’s inauguration. Her life too is unique for the varied & many people who respected & admired her across many fields–that she could reach people so broadly, from submitting a poem for Michael Jackson’s funeral to reading the poem at Clinton’s inauguration to now having the Obamas release a statement in her memory.
Day of Sorrow in MY Life: Extraordinary poet, actress, performer, lover of women and my own Marguerite from The Margarita Poems has died at 86. It seems just yesterday she approved of my using her quote from a letter she wrote personally to me while I was at Western Kentucky University to laud myThe Margarita Poems and saying that she was also a Margarita in my life. I used her comments on the back cover of my book I’m Still Standing; Thirty Years of Poetry which was mailed to her also for her delight with a loving inscription. The letter is now at De Paul University. I am speechless to say all I adored this woman. I saw her read for years and years and I even took Moira Finley (my adopted daughter) and Aroostine Brown (her friend) to see her in Boston. They are both disabled and they were inspired by her story of survival. Dr.Angelou always spoke to me when I attended her readings, at times in private, while we walked down the hallways. She always wore long dresses to perform just like I took on doing much to my former lover’s disliking. Prof. Maya Angelou: I will be writing real soon to honor you and I ask everyone here to raise their hand and say: “I swear allegiance to the grand dame who wrote a poem for President Bill Clinton and who today I re-affirm that one of the most prestigious awards in Heaven should be bestowed on her as America’s premiere HUMAN being!” I loved you and I am in mourning. Maya Maya Maya dearest, love, you are not gone, you live in my aching bones but you gave me a balsam to heal. Everyone a huge clap for the life of Maya. I wish I could stand guard at her funeral. Still I rise! Still I rise! Still I rise! Still raising! And, please let us all clap around the World for a Professor Emeriti has died today as we bow to her also in the kindness admission to her greatness. A hug Puerto Rican embrace to my colleagues at Wake Forest and especially to my colleague there Prof. Mary Lusky Friedman who admired her deeply.
I met Maya in the early 70’s when she was a guest speaker. Her wit, wisdom, energy and passion for the spoken and written word positively impacted all who had the privilege of hearing her in DeTamble Auditorium. As one of few African-American students, I recalled being so thankful that everyone had the opportunity to hear her pearls of wisdom. She was like the Pied Piper with everyone hanging on her every word. Wake Forest is a better place in no small part because of her.
Maya Angelou inspired me as a young black female college student to rise above resistance to my dreams and aspirations, to be proud of my heritage as a “phenomenal woman” because “nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Her visits to campuses where I studied and work will forever touch my heart.
I extend my condolences to all of the wonderful family , friends and proteges of the extraordinary Maya Angelou. Our friendship first blossomed through her book I know Why the Caged Bird Sings and grew more robust with each new writing and her poetry. Finally, I was able to meet and be in conversation with often beginning with the Carter inauguration, Leadership American conferences and private receptions especially at Spelman.
The last stanza of My poem which begins my memoir, THE CIRCLES GOD DRAWS explains the admiration so many of us share.
THE INHERITANCE OF OUR MOTHER’S SHACKLES AND POWER…
“We are in defiance of all captivity
Because we know the secret of our muse.
A wellspring of joy bubbles through troubled worlds and troubled times.
We were fashioned by a creator who makes butterfly wings.
And that is why the Mona Lisa smiles.
And that is the connection between
“Caged Birds and “Phenomenal Women!”
I read Dr Angelou’s book I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS at the age of 15. I was taken by her words, her life, her wisdom. I applied to Wake Forest because of her really… And then I had the pleasure to take her class. Sitting on the first row on the first day, I was struck by her magnificent presence and booming voice while we all sat mesmerised as she told us stories from that seminal work.
I have thought many times that it was because of Dr Angelou that my life has taken the great turns it has. She was a magnificent woman and the world is better off for her words, her work, for her having walked this earth.
Thank you, Dr Angelou.
PS And thank you for the yummy biscuits that Saturday morning.
Ms. Angelou demonstrated the power of the written and spoke word as a source of instruction, revelation, entertainment, and healing. She taught that we all have more in common that we really want to admit.
You have been an inspiration to me and to millions around the world. Thank you for gracing us all with your thoughts and your ever so memorable poetic lyrics. You will be forever in out memories and therefore will be truly missed.
May God rest your soul in peace.
Dr. Angelou was the most REAL person in this world. She did not judge or preach, but rather taught, and all of the world has been inspired by her teachings. We are all blessed that she graced our world with her presence for so long and will continue to be inspired by her works. God bless her and her family.
The world is better because Dr. Maya ‘Angel’ou existed…
I Shall Not Be Moved
And when the great souls die,
after a period of peace blooms,
slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper
to us. They existed. They existed. We can be.
Be and be better. For they existed.
I remember the bright beacon that was Dr. Maya Angelou, coming to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco where I worked in the late 80’s early 90’s for both poet/CEO Janice Mirikitani, and her husband, Rev. Cecil Williams.
I had the high honor of sharing the Glide stage with her, as a vocalist in the Glide Ensemble, I will never forget “backing her up” with song, after she read one of her transformative poems. She was such an inspiration – a warm, golden human being, with such a brilliance in her voice, and I will always remember that brief introduction.
She no doubt is one of the brightest of luminaries now in the celestial firmament – but I will miss her on the planet, as I do so many of her contemporaries – she has left a legacy of justice, civil rights, high arts – poetry and song, for us all to aspire to.
May Great Mystery bless your spirit’s journey and that of your family (Guy) and all those who are now experiencing the loss of a great person.
Thank you for your art, your song, your voice, and your spirit of justice, overcoming the most inhumane oppression, and eternal endurance! You voice and essence lives on in so many of us.
When I moved to Winston-Salem in 1995 with my partner we didn’t know a soul. We were both drawn to this town because of the potential for it to be an up and coming area for we tail end of the baby boomers. Neither of us had a particular kinship to Wake Forest but we respected the university for it’s high academic standards. We did however know that Dr. Angelo was on faculty there, and because of our immense respect for her quickly became part of the Old Black and Gold family. She imparted many lessons on our lives by just being herself. She helped us to learn that we have value as human beings, we have value to our community, and we matter to the world. Rest in peace dear lady- you have changed the world for the better!
A great loss to the world is the death of this phenomenal woman. I grew up reading her books and fell in love with her poetry in college. When I graduated, my advisor read the poem “Phenomenal Woman” in her remarks about me (I was women’s studies major). I thought that was an amazing poem of strength and have shared it with many, but it did not compare the strength she gave the nation at President Clinton’s inauguration. Have the two words “Good Morning” ever carried such strength? I had the pleasure of listening to her at a professional conference once, just being in the room made one feel like they were part of the bigger picture. I hope she rests in peace and that she had been able to lay down her burdens. We have lost a great woman today.
“You see, Love Liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says I love you, I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town, I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you, I’d like to have your arms around me, I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now. So, I love you. Go.”
-Maya Angelou, Love Liberates
I met Dr. Maya Angelou shortly after she moved to Winston-Salem and had the pleasure of serving as her executive banker. It was a pleasure and privilege that I did not take lightly as she selected me. Even after I moved on to other positions in Wachovia Bank, I stayed in touch with her and our paths would cross as I served across the community. She was a giant among women and always one to encourage you to reach for the stars. No matter where she met you, she remembered your name and would cheerfully give you a warm greeting. This I personally witnessed when I saw her in the Atlanta airport at 7:30AM one morning. I was traveling for the bank and she was returning home from a trip. Her voice rang out as she said “Good Morning, Mrs. Diggs.” I will cherish the times I was able to spend with her and thank her so much for the positive role model she was for so many women and men. Dr. Maya Angelou did what I know is important for us all; that is, “Make a positive difference” in the lives of others. You have fought a good fight, earned your rest and blessed many as you traveled through this life. You will forever live in our hearts.
Such an awesome person. Kind and gentle. Loved listening to her powerful words which will be greatly missed. Inspiration for us all.
I never met this wonderful lady, but I read some of her poems and fell in love with her when I was a student at Wake Forest in the 50’s. I shall always remember “Why the Caged Bird Sings” and have fondly followed her life, especially since she came to Wake Forest in ’82.
Wake Forest has truly lost a very special person!
I Know “Why The Caged Bird Sings”, as well as the students I taught.This book was used as a text book for my elementary, high school, university, and detention center classes, It helped me teach the students and myself how to learn patience, respect, humility, and gave a sense of responsibility for a life time. After our meeting in 2009 and again in 2011 I am humbled to you. THANK YOU.
I had the pleasure of being in Dr. Angelou’s class at Wake Forest. What I remember most about her is her kindness. She hosted us in her home not once, but twice. She never forgot a student either. If she saw you again, she would recognize you and she always had time for you. Dr. Angelou made a lasting impression on me in so many ways. How fortunate we Deacons were to have had her on our campus for so many years.
What a remarkable woman. My prayers to your family & friends during this time. Your works will live on & we are the richer.
THANK YOU Dr. Angelou! For teaching me over my stubborn resistance what a valuable motivation that fear can be; for showing me the living example of exhibiting great class and dignity no matter the hardship(s) that may be thrust in one’s way; & reminding me how valuable my mother’s advice can be, it was her recommendation that led me to your class. I am forever richer, and grateful, for having known you both. Mom, you & Wake Forest, “Mother so dear” indeed!
Reading I KNOW WHY A CAGED BIRD SINGS helped me to mature in unexpected ways, to open up places and in my soul and heart unknown to me before – thank you Dr. Angelou! Like others I wish I had heard you speak in person but am grateful to have heard you speak on TV. Your voice and words creates amazing visuals, inspirations, and joy – thank you for sharing your insights with us.
I coincided with Maya Angelou quite early in her tenure at Wake Forest during my time as an instructor. I have a vivid memory of a small faculty picnic one fall where we were sitting on the grass, just the two of us, talking about travels, she intently asking me for details about mine as we shared places we had both visited and countries we hoped to see. I knew then that I was fortunate to have had that conversation, one that has remained with me over the decades. I envy those who had the opportunity to study with her, though we all learned from her no matter how brief our contact.
To you, Dr. Angelou…
I had the honor of meeting you twice, first in 2008 and then again in 2012. While time only allowed for the exchange of a few words, you would never know until now just what an emotional and spiritual-filled few minutes those were for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for traveling this way with us for 86 years.
I have never had the opportunity too meet Maya Angelou, but a special friend had sent me an inspiring quote and a photo of Maya… and somehow I also feel I have been touched by an angel. Love the power of one woman who dares!
Awesome Trailblazer….. Some of us were graced with your presence, some were graced with your words of wisdom and others graced to be able to sit in a room and be taught by you! Whatever way we all were changed and lives were touched! Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for living your purpose daily! May we all strive to do so from your example! RIP and know we love you! Personally your words of wisdom on Madea’s Family Reunion were deep! I hold them dear!
It is because of Dr. Maya Angelou’s teachings on courage that I feel inspired to write a thank you to her here. Dr. Angelou spoke at the Final Four banquet for field hockey when Wake Forest hosted the event. In a room full of female college athletes she commanded attention with her soft, powerful voice. She asked each of us to be our greatest selves and not be afraid to shine – have the courage to be yourself, always and always better yourself. She was beautiful. To hear her speak was beautiful – an ease of performance that her literature tells us took her years to learn. May she rest in peace and may her words continue to teach, encourage, and inspire.
Wake Forest may have lost the vital presence of Dr. Angelou, but it will never lose the magnificent, eternal gift of her teaching and writings which will live on in the thousands of students she touched, and taught. I wish I had been one of those fortunate Deacons.
I will remember Dr. Angelou who helped change the way I view the world and humanity. My father sent each of my sisters and me a copy of her book, “Letter To My Daughter”. She has left a legacy that will not be forgotten. What a loss to the WFU community and the world.
She was indeed a dynamic poet, educator and speaker. A number of generations have been influenced by her words. Our thoughts and sympathy goes out to family, friends and fellow staff at Wake Forest University. May the God of comfort be with you all!
Thank you Dr. Angelou for your literary work and poems. I remember being in college and a staff member had an extra ticket for your appearance. How excited and thrilled I was to be able to see such greatness. We will miss you.
Dr. Angelou, I remember you as a professor, mentor and loving woman of God. Beyond literature, you gave us instruction on laughing and loving, and on failing and succeeding in this journey called life.
As we settled into our first lecture of the semester you shared this proverb, ‘Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.’ You taught us that as human beings we carry the innate ability to respect and empathize with one another. We are all better people because of your profound compassion.
You are the epitome of love. Your presence at Wake Forest was a blessing and a gift.
I miss you dearly.
I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Angelou at Special Occasions Book Store, where she granted me a moment of her time and permission to quote her for a paper for a class, I was taking at Wake Forest: The Struggle for Freedom In the US and South Africa, taught by Alton Pollard III and Anthony S. Parent, Jr.
“What is the cost of freedom? In response to a similar question, Maya Angelou replied: The cost of freedom is ‘everything, all the time.’ ”
“South Africa Speaks To America’s Racism.” Videotape, moderator Alton Pollard, with Maya Angelou, Jim Wallis, and Beyers Naudé by Winston-Salem South African Initiative Committee and Ilusten Communications, Raleigh, NC, May 10,1996. In a brief conversation concerning this statement, Maya Angelou reminded me that “whatever we learn concerning South Africa” can be applied to the struggle for freedom worldwide. Personal interview. Special Occasions. November 30, 1996.
Opening paragraph and first footnote from my paper “EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME: The Personal Cost in the Struggle for Freedom In the Lives of Coretta Scott King and Winnie Mandela” (Wake Forest University, 1996)
Her poetry will live forever.
My thoughts are with the global family of Dr. Angelou. We feel a great loss because she was a grand lady. My only personal interaction with her was at Fresh Market. I was often in a rush, dragging small children with me. She was usually in the produce section, squeezing or smelling something. She would smile at us. Her energy told me to slow down, enjoy the moment, choose wisely. Godspeed Dr. Angelou.
You are loved in death as well as in life. May your spirit have final peace.
I had the privilege of taking Dr. Angelou’s course while I was a student at Wake Forest. I found myself transformed by the stories and experiences she shared and will be forever grateful for the wisdom she so carefully and unselfishly poured into us. There were countless moments that I will cherish, but the theme of the course, “I am a human being, nothing human will be alien to me” is something I carry with me daily. Thank you Dr. Angelou for encouraging me and motivating me to be the best me that I could possibly be.
A true inspiration to me. I will pass it along and hope that others will continue your legacy.
Some people are called… Some are called for greatness!
God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. A woman of grace, creativity, and a woman of God. You are a LEADER through your words. You have encouraged others without even knowing them… their situation… or seen their face.
I thank you for leaving your irreplaceable footsteps in the sand for people to see. You will forever be a Legend.
She was a great human being and I will forever miss her voice and wisdom.
I remember being so excited when I got into Dr. Anglelou’s class during the crazy registration process we had back when I was a senior. She did not disappoint!
It was a small intimate group of students….about 14 in total. Most of our classes were held in her lovely home near campus. She fed us… she took us to her church…. she read poetry… she told stories… she talked about our humanity… she gave me a lot to think about as I left school and ventured into my own life.
She was a powerful presence… her voice was like no one else’s I have ever heard.
She taught me to always try to see the good… look for the humanity in every person.
She taught me that we are all so much more alike than we are different….
So sad that others will not have the chance I had to spend time in her presence… I feel privileged.
Wouldn’t you give anything to be There now, listening to Dr. Angelou and Flannery and others sharing joy, and watching everything that rises converge? So grateful for everything that Wake Forest inspires!
A great loss to those who consider her family, Wake Forest University, and the world.
God has you! Go and get your wings now, you’re free! You can breathe and move like you want too. You are able to meet your maker in Heaven. God has a task for you to do for him there now that you have done your task her on earth. You were rewarded along time ago it was just not your time yet until he calls upon you. Now that your time has come you are asked to something else more in Heaven, something special, something more beautiful and so remarkable you can’t believe your eyes of what you capable of doing now than when you were here. he a waited for you. He needed you. So I say again go and get your wings & be free! You are free! You …my Angelou is free!
Her voice! Who will ever forget the rising and falling of her voice. She just filled the room, the stadium or wherever she was . Her presence just surrounded you with her wisdom.
She will be greatly missed by all. One great human being and I just know she is on the front row in the Great Angelic choir lifting her voice in soaring melodies that even our great GOD pauses and listens.
A lifetime that truly mattered. A legacy forever. You touched me deeply with your words and your beliefs. Thank you for the inspiration and truth you shared.
Thank you for representing Wake Forest in such a unique and powerful manner. As I often brag about my Alma Mater, I have always included you in the conversation. You made me proud, because you spoke the old truths in new and provocative ways, yet always with eloquence and poignancy. I believe it is a human need to feel we matter, you certainly did.
GREAT is an apt word to describe this wonderful woman who graced and inspired our lives and our world, and a word equally suitable to Wake Forest — the sterling university that lent its broad reach to her words and to her exemplary life.
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal…the angels are rejoicing for your return home…you will forever be in our hearts. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your obedience. Thank you!
As an admirer of Dr. Angelou I often thought of her on the Wake Forest campus. I graduated almost 50 years ago and when I arrived on campus (coming from an integrated school in Washington DC) I realized there were only two black students attending Wake Forest: an international student from Africa and a young lady from New Jersey. Time changes so many things and it always brought a smile to my face to think of Dr. Angelou bringing her very special insights to my dear college campus.
There are some people who take over a room when they enter a room. I recall being on the main stage at WFU rehearsing a play. Maya Angelou entered from the back of the audience, unseen from the stage, but somehow all attention was drawn to her and the rehearsal stopped. Big room. Bigger person.
I was privileged to take Dr. Angelou’s class while I was a student at Wake Forest where we were expected to dive deeply into her 50 favorite poems and put on a performance of them that she directed. No, not intimidating at all to perform poetry in front of Maya Angelou! I’ll never forget two things she taught me. The first I learned while sitting at freshman convocation where she stepped to the microphone and started her speech about our limitless possibility by singing a song. We nervous, self-conscious and awkward freshman, most of whom did not appreciate this woman’s history and talent, sat transfixed as she sang. A pin could’ve dropped in that hall. Today, over 20 years later, I remember distinctly thinking at that moment, “I want to be like her. I never want to be scared to be my beautiful self.” She reinforced this lesson in the way she taught. She did not accept for an instant anyone who spoke in front her with a small voice. In front of all of us in the class she would demand that that student restate and restate her lines until she said them with poise, meaning and confidence. When I became a teacher, I taught with the same approach of tough love that she did, never accepting anything less than 100% of my students’ beautiful selves. The second stark memory comes from a story she shared with us. She was attending some sort of Hollywood awards show and walking down the red carpet with the cameras flashing, feeling bold and so high on her self-importance, when, from among the crowd of on-lookers, she heard a boy exclaim, “That’s my teacher!” That phrase brought her back down to earth, and she thought, “Yes, I am a teacher. That is what I am, and there is no higher privilege than that.” For all of us to aspire to impact beyond ourselves, here’s to an amazing woman who did. May we all strive to be our unapologetic beautiful selves in all that we do and support our teachers.
Dr. Angelou joined WFU after I left. As an admirer of her work, it made me proud that she was a part of the Wake family.
Inspirational. Loving. Godly.
Heaven rejoices today for the angel they gained.
Unfortunately for me, I never met Dr. Angelou in person, but I have read her works and admired her since I was a teenager. Her grace, wisdom and knowledge touched me every time I saw her in the media. I along with millions of others will miss you greatly, so thank you for leaving so much of your gifts for the world to continue to wrap our hearts, spirits and intellect around. The Prince of Peace welcomes you.
Although its been 30 years, I’ll never forget taking Dr. Angelou’s class in Race, Politics and Literature. Dr. Angelou walked and without saying one word wrote “homo sum humani nihil a me alienum puto” (Terence) on the chalk board. Translated as “I am human therefore nothing human can be alien to me,” what a life-long lesson to learn on day one! Dr. Angelou was an American Hero. Her rich legacy of literature and teachings will live on forever to inspire current and future generations to have the courage to make a positive difference in our world.
Dr. Angelou was one of the greatest women to grace God’s earth. It was an honor and privilege to learn and study under her wings. Oh, I can’t forget the food. I loved her from the moment I met her, and she helped me to be wiser and to pose important questions about the world and myself. God brought her into my life, and I am thankful to have known her, to have talked with her, to have felt her touch, and to have been the recipient of her smile. Rest in peace, you phenomenal woman!
Maya has been such an inspiration to me and countless others; providing strength and wisdom that only she could so eloquently instill. I send my condolences to her family. She will truly be missed. Her Legacy lives on forever.
Many years ago, I took the first class you taught at Wake Forest. You were unlike any teacher I had had ever had- you challenged my ideas, and my long term opinions. You became an inspiration for life long learning, grace under pressure, and sheer survival. You became my friend. You made the world and wake forest a much better place and taught me about compassion , tolerance, and grace. I carry your wisdom with me every day.
May God bless and keep your family.
btn UG 1984/BGSM 1988
I am so very sad by this news. My payers for peace and comfort at your loss.
Dear Maya, you have saved my life so many times over. As a young teen in Michigan in the 1970’s, I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” As a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, this book soothed my soul and made my perspective of the world softer; I was not alone; I just wish I was as brave as you are.
May you rest in peace my dear soul.
“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”-Maya Angelou
Dr. Angelou is the epitome of stewardship, class, care, and concern for the greater good while placing on you the challenge and call to do better and to be better. While I did not have the privilege of taking one of her classes, I did meet and interact with her while a student. Her presence alone is enough to make you want to be the best resource and person you can be.
I feel extremely fortunate to have seen her poetry reading this past October (2013) during Homecoming. Even while getting around in a wheelchair, her sharpness and soundness of mind and spirit is still ever-present.
A number of students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni will definitely miss her physical presence; even greater is the local, regional, national, and international impact she makes (I speak in the present as spiritually and through her work, her presence is still here) on so many people. Thank you for all you did while here, and thank you for your impact in the days ahead.
Dr. Angelou you will be greatly missed. My heart is heavy right now but I understand your work is needed somewhere else now. Even though you are not of this world anymore you words of wisdom you shared with so many will longer in our minds forever! A job well done!
To me Maya Angelou was always the lady in the purple hat at the inauguration. Then I met her and was struck by her sparkling earthy humor, by her play with words. It happened that the day I met her was right after the Boston bombings, and it was national Haiku day. So she immediately challenged me to write her a Haiku. I wrote one about the bombings, and one to her about how I felt on meeting her. She responded with one to me, which I treasure.She was the human being we all should strive to be.
Dear Mother Maya,
I have admired and loved you all my life, and though I never had a chance to meet you, whenever I read your work, or listen to an interview you gave, it always felt like you were speaking directly to me. What wisdom, love and light you have given to humanity. Your passing will leave a tremendous void, but in remembering you we shall strive to fill it. May God lift up your family with lot’s and lot’s of love and light. I look forward to meeting your precious soul someday. Sweet dreams…
Maya Angelou has touched my life through her words of true poetry and genuine prose. Her life is a manifestation of triumph. Her life implicates a life that we must fully embrace; a life that is filled with obstacles which we must face head on; a life that is an inspiration of truth, of power and endurance. She is a leader, she is a writer, she is a mother, she is a legacy we must continue following. “When you learn, teach. When you get, give. That my friends is what gives your story purpose and meaning.”-Maya Angelou. Rest In Peace.
Dr. Angelou inspired me to be myself. She said don’t hide and be authentic. I did become authentic through her words I RISE. She was amazing and I thank her for doing interview with me after my memoir was published.
I loved her for the kind words and her love for equality.
The loss of such a powerful thinker will impact us all. Her memories and words will teach us forever.
I was an incoming freshman at Wake Forest in the Fall of 1973, and all of us had to read Ms. Angelou’s book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” for freshman orientation. I had never heard of her before but once I started reading the book, I found her writing and story to be compelling. The world has lost a great person in her.
When I think of Maya Angelou (and many other inspiring leaders like her) I am reminded of living a life full of purpose. You fulfilled your purpose mama and in that you served humanity excellently. We were and continue to be enriched by your words, life experiences, wisdom and courage.
The news of your passing caught us offguard in South Africa. While still nursing the wound inflicted upon us by the passing of that courageous soldier we all loved and called ‘tata Madiba’, we find ourselves yet again engulfed by the stench of death. However, in all of that, we sing with gratitude because had it not been for you and many others, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
We salute you then for a life well-lived and a purpose-fulfilled. We say soar you bird of the skies and return to the world of your forefathers. May the heavens open their doors and receive you with a hero’s welcome, like the hero that you are. Whilst you may no longer be with us in body, we carry the presence of your words in our hearts and are grateful that our lives were touched by yours.
Rest in Peace mama.
Yongama Njisane, South Africa.
A piece of advice Maya Angelou gave me years ago, which has served me well and often ever since–and in so many contexts: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
On behalf of the Office of Parent Programs, we mourn the passing of Dr. Angelou and celebrate her life. She was a remarkable woman, larger than life. We are eternally grateful that she gave her time and talents to Wake Forest. All of us are the richer for it.
May the peace that only God can give be with you.
How heavy the hurt and heartache I feel at the news of this beloved giant of a woman’s passing. I was in my twenties when I stumbled upon her great autobiography “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. It was deeply moving and inspirIng Some forty years later I proudly say I’ve read all of her books and articles by her that I could find. To her personal family, university family, friends and fans around the world, “great is the loss of this treasured lady….yet will she live FOREVER. I know she will be welcomed to Paradise to Rest in Peace!
Maya Angelou was a ray of sunshine…May she rest in peace!
I was at Wake before Maya Angelou became a professor there but I was always so proud that she had come to be part of our wonderful school.
I encountered her later when I was in Chapel Hill and doing a women’s studies class in literature. She opened my eyes to the unique stories that black women had to tell about their lives, and our shared lives in the south, and it changed my life. As I finished my seminary training at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, I had the privilege of being taught by the Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon–first black woman ordained in the Presbyterian church and the first black woman to be a tenured professor in any US seminary. Katie was my mentor and her theological writing from the stories of black women was critical to hundreds of future faith leaders.
For me, Katie stood on Maya’s shoulders as do we all: black and white, male and female, and all others. Thank you Maya for all you have given; thank you Wake Forest for giving her an academic home; and thank you God for the gift of Maya’s life.
I am reminded of Dr. Angelou’s own words describing Mrs. Bertha Flowers in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: “she…has remained throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be.” Rest in peace, dear lady.
Thank you for being a part of my daughters great love for reading and poetry. Thank you too for your generous spirit when she had the opportunity to meet you at a book signing at Special Occasions.
I also appreciate your presence and laughter as you came to Wake Forest while I was in Divinity School. You were loved, appreciated and will be missed…to be sure your work and great spirit will continue on.
We are all very lucky to have had such a wonderful and kind soul in our midst. I loved this woman and my thoughts and prayers are for her family and friends. May God watch over her in her journey home.
Your presence will be felt on earth for a very long time to come! You will forever remain my inspiration, Maya!
A woman I greatly admired…her light will continue to shine for women, especially women of color, everywhere. We remain when we are remembered. I will remember.
To me and countless others, Dr. Maya Angelou is legendary and wisdom personified. Unfortunately, she was never my professor, but she was one of my reasons for attending Wake. I knew it would be an honor and privilege to attend the university where an amazing, poet, writer, and humanitarian who could teach anywhere, had chosen to be her academic home. I will never forget volunteering with friends at her 80th birthday celebration in Winston-Salem. To call her a gem, doesn’t feel adequate. Her voice, her words, and her powerful way of making eye contact with the world, will be missed.
Ive had the honor in meeting Dr. Angelou when i was 16 years old when she came and spoke at Fresno State and I was blessed to see her and hear her . my heart is sad but I know that Heaven just got a Anointed Angel……
Great Lady, thank you for the time we shared. In the two classes I was fortunate enough to take with you, you shared with us a way of thinking about the world, a way of constantly working to embrace, understand and love humanity that forever echoes in me, and daily dictates how I respond and interact with the world.
Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me. A quote from Terence, and the central tenet of every class she ever taught.
Thank you, Dr. Angelou for your friendship, your teachings, and the great impact you’ve had on my life. I carry you with me always.
Dear Maya. Thank you for your words. “Still I rise” moved me, inspired me. Much love. R.I.P
Bob Cairns. Bournemouth Dorset UK.
I never had the honor of meeting of meeting her…but have read her books and she has inspired me…..she and her WORDS will be missed.
Dr. Angelou was a terrific teacher – about literature, about writing, about life. I was honored to be a student in her class.
Rest in peace Dr. Maya Angelou… I loved your work and I loved you… I loved what you stood for…. I will miss you… farewell.
I graduated before Ms. Angelou began teaching at WFU, but I once heard her speak and read her poetry at Spelman College in Atlanta. Hearing “Phenomenal Woman” read by the phenomenal woman herself has been a touchstone moment in my life. She leaves a Maya Angelou sized hole in the universe.
What a kind and gentle person. Such an asset to the Wake Forest community. She will be surely missed.
We are a blessed society to have experienced her wisdom, artistry, love.
A true female warrior, has come left her mark on the world and our hearts! She will be greatly missed, to her family, look to God because he’s the only one can mend your hearts! Thank you so much for sharing her with world! She was a great woman! Thank you!!
Maya did me and two of my buddies a solid back in 1985 by hooking us up with a friend of hers in Geneva for a place to stay as we hiked through Europe – she gave us a signed book to give to her friend as our introduction. RIP Maya.
One of the last greatest figures of my time. I grew up “knowing” Dr. Angelou, along with Malcolm X and Dr. King and the Kennedy’s…I always felt that she and my Mom were sisters, with many parallels. The joy of reading for me, included that Caged Bird…I was privileged in my later years to see and hear her in public, in Tampa, FL several years ago…a memory that I will never forget…breathing and functioning in the same space and air as she…A great Woman and a phenomenal loss! R.I.P with Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou…
Dr. Maya Angelou was certainly an inspiration for me and countless others. I thank God for sharing her with us, and I thank Dr. Angelou for sharing her wonderful God-given gifts with the world. She is the epitome of living life with purpose. May we all be so inclined to do the same.
She was a great lady and will be missed.