Maya Angelou died this morning May 28,2014 sometime before 8 A.M. The poet, writer, actor, director, dancer, prostitute, civil rights pioneer and woman has left us to walk the roads of this life without her. Ailing in the last couple of years Angelou was forced to cancel a couple of appearances due to ill health. At 86 years of age the woman who literally was involved in some of the most interesting of times in the last 60 years has taken her last breath.
She was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis on April 4th, 1928. She and her brother would bounce back and forth between St.Louis and Stamps, Arkansas where her Grandmother lived. Her childhood was one of tragedy and sadness. She would be raped by her mothers boyfriend at an early age. She would dance with Alvin Ailey in the 1950's. Traveled in the early 60's to Africa and would meet Malcolm X. The two would bond and she would travel back to the states to become involved in the Civil Rights movement and work with Martin Luther King.
Dr. Angelou would begin writing in the 1960's and would turn a profit in the 70's by writing plays, TV scripts and documentaries, and short stories. She would go on to become a professor at Wake Forest University. She would be the first poet to honor an incoming President since Robert Frost spoke at JFK's inauguration. President Clinton was very lucky to have her speak that day.
It was in 1969 when she wrote "I know why the caged bird sings" that the world started to know Maya Angelou, a name she picked up in the 1960's. Her writing, her words, her approach to being a human being touched generation's of Americans. She brought the goodness out of each and every one of us. The world is a sadder place this afternoon. The tears have come and gone, but the goodness of her heart helps us to overcome the loss. She had a life most people can only wish for.
She lived many lives in her time on this planet. She will always be remembered though as the person who helped me want to achieve more in my life. She's the person who with her book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" allowed me to find my voice and my direction in life and for that I will always be eternally grateful.