You’ll notice there is no RIP before the name. It isn’t there because I feel that this remarkable woman was such a strong beacon to all of us about how a life should be lived that it is difficult taking in her death. I can’t think of a more admirable person than Dr. Angelou. Her achievements as a writer/teacher/activist and real human being outstrip those of most of the people who devote their lives to the sad excuse that passes for “success” in this world these days–money, power, position. As an adult she was not poor or lacking in any position, but her power was self-generated. Though she would be the last person to tell you that she had risen from the tragic circumstances of her early life without help.
To me she was the embodiment of courage, strength and dignity. Yet her strongest messages were of using hope and seizing your time to make a true difference in the lives of others. Here was a person who rose far above her supposed station through the strength of her personal character and affected every soul she encountered positively. I won’t say she was a saint or an angel, but I do believe she was a force for good that cannot be allowed to die from this often fragile and complicated world. Of course, her physical presence will be missed. However, her presence as a poet and her autobiographies will remain cornerstones of the American experience. Not just for blacks, but for all of us who struggle against unreasonable prejudice and the entrenched ugliness of hate against what is falsely believed to be “other”.
Maya Angelou was a rare treasure and, in my humble opinion, we were all blessed to know that treasure during our lives.
Here is an article that addresses the importance of Maya Angelou.