I am not saddened by the death of the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou. She lived a long and glorious life. Her passions led her to careers in singing, dancing, acting, writing and education. St. Louis, Cairo, Accra, New York, Winston-Salem and Stamps, Arkansas are all cities she called home at one time or another.
This is a woman who knew Malcolm X personally, who counted James Baldwin as a close friend, who reminded Tupac of how important he was, who spit a few words on a Common track, who chopped it up with Dave Chappelle in an epic interview and who was bestowed one of the country’s highest honors by the first black president of the United States of America.
This is not a person for whom tears are appropriate, unless you have tears of joy for experiencing the creativity with which she graced the world. Dr. Angelou left us with so much to love and ponder. There are approximately 1, 898, 347 brilliant quotes from Dr. Angelou floating around online and in books on a variety of subjects. But at the core of her work, she often came back to themes of love, self-care and community support. She was a beacon of encouragement and inspiration to millions of people
Dr. Angelou will not and can not be replaced.
Thankfully, due to the welcoming and dazzling light of her spirit, she has touched numerous current and future world changers. I claim today as a day to celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Maya Angelou and to utilize and hone my own skills and talents for the betterment of myself and the world I occupy.