This morning, a powerful poet, author and legend in history and Civil Rights Lyricists died at the age of 86, as confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson, was found dead Wednesday morning in her Winston-Salem, N.C. home and the cause of death has not yet been determined.
“She’d been very frail and had heart problems, but she was going strong, finishing a new book,” Angelou’s agent Helen Brann told ABC News. “I spoke to her yesterday. She was fine, as she always was. Her spirit was indomitable.”
Dr. Angelou lived a resilient life, documenting the happenings of history in the most inspiring way, through the friction of pen and paper. Her many poems and books have been favorites of mine since I first heard “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
Her writings have inspired me to face the truth in my own life and have that truth and empowerment reflect in my own personal writing. After hearing of her death this morning, I was saddened because one day meeting this beautiful and powerful woman was a dream I’ve had for so long.
“I’m learning that I have patience and that patience is a great gift,” she said. “I know that people only do what they know to do. Not what they say they know, not what they think they should know. … People do only what they know how to do, so I have patience. I pray that people will have patience with themselves and learn more.”
I pray that her spirit is now resting and she has the peace she deserves. She fought a beautiful fight here on Earth. So rest in peace, Dr. Angelou. Your words will keep your spirit here on Earth alive and breathing as you move on to a world that allows you to seek eternal rest.
“Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” she once said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”
Watch some of my favorite videos below of Dr. Angelou in her later years.