I become aware of this amazing graceful, peaceful, solid rock legend was one day when watching Oprah Winfrey. Oprah has a way of introducing our world to individuals who are silent giants and not only should be heard, yet recognized for the gifts and talents they pour into this planet and lives without any public recognition. Oprah called Maya "sister friend." The Queen of talk shows was so full of respect for Maya and gave her honor.
I loved reading the article from CNN and this quote gripped my heart about Maya by Adrian Sean of Detroit, who posted a CNN iReport tribute, saying, "I cannot describe the feeling I had when I read 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' for the first time, and knew someone else in the world had been through extreme hardships just as I had. "She not only survived, but she thrived just by being herself," she said. "Maya Angelou was and still is a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to me. Her impact on my life will always have a special place in my heart."
Maya Angelou has not only been given tributes today in the midst of her passing ... she was given tributes in life as well for all she contributed.
Maya Angelou was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. Wikipedia
This history of her life briefly describes this talented woman and her journey in an excerpt from the CNN article:
Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86
By Faith Karimi. Ashley Fantz and Moni Basu, CNN
updated 1:42 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
Angelou spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco but dropped out of school at age 14.
When she was 16, Angelou became San Francisco's first female streetcar driver.
Angelou later returned to high school to get her diploma. She gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she developed a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in the mid-1950s in the opera production "Porgy and Bess."
In 1957, she recorded her first album, "Miss Calypso."
In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and played a queen in "The Blacks," an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Anderson and Dr. Maya Angelou Part 1
Anderson and Dr. Maya Angelou Part 2 "I created myself," Angelou once said. "I have taught myself so much."
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, 6-foot-tall professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
"Maya Angelou has been a towering figure -- at Wake Forest and in American culture. She had a profound influence in civil rights and racial reconciliation," Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch said Wednesday. "We will miss profoundly her lyrical voice and always keen insights."
Angelou spoke at least six languages and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. It was during that time that she wrote "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," the first in a series of autobiographical books.
"I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine ... before she realizes she's reading," Angelou said.
Finally a short tribute. Maya, you will forever be regarded as one of the greats on this planet. Over the years you became a "sister friend" to all women and making an impact that will be forever engraved in our hearts and souls. We should all strive to make a difference, to be kind, generous and help others .. to stand on your shoulders and continue the fight for freedom. Thank you. Rest In Peace sweet "sister friend".