On Wednesday morning, the Phenomenal Woman poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Angelou was well known for her influence as an author and poet, but was quiet naturally a renaissance woman through her lifetime. After having a rough childhood and teen years which she wrote about in her acclaimed book ‘I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings‘ and in her latest book ‘Mom & Me & Mom’ she was able to recourse her life.
Her recourse would lead her to being a calypso performer, a writer, an actress, civil rights activist, recipient of over 30 honorary doctoral degrees, and a source of positive influence for celebrities, elected officials, and others all over the world.
In recent years, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Barack Obama and appeared in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion in 2006 with actress Cicely Tyson.
She lived in Cairo while married and then when she divorced her South African husband moved to Ghana. While in Ghana she was a teacher and writer, this was also where she met and became good friends with Malcolm X during his trip there.
Before living in Africa, she toured Africa and Europe with the production of ‘Porgy and Bess’ in the mid-1950s.
Last December, she wrote and recited the poem “His Day Is Done” for another friend of hers, Nelson Mandela, when he passed away. The two met in 1962 while she was living Cairo.
There have been no words of the funeral arrangements yet. She has left behind her only son, Claude ‘Guy’ Johnson and her legacy as a poet.