Poet and Author Maya Angelou Dies at 86

Poet and Author Maya Angelou Dies at 86

Maya Angelou (Photo Credit: Bob Richman, 2010 Harpo Inc.)

Today the world has lost one of its greatest contributors in the death of Maya Angelou. Author, civil rights advocate, educator, poet, and kindred spirit of many, Angelou died in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her writing touched the hearts of many, from her autobiographical series which included the critically-acclaimed book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” to her poems such as “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman.” She encouraged women and men alike to tap into their potential for greatness. Her presence was commanding, she was like an elder for the world leading us with wisdom and grace. And who could forget that voice? Many of us remember what it was like the first time we heard “Still I Rise” and how we were struck by the power of her voice made that much more powerful by her words. She did not leave us without sharing one last word of encouragement. She did this, last week, through what would be her last tweet:

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” @DrMayaAngelou

Today that tweet went from 892 retweets prior to the announcement of her passing, to well over 25,000 retweets. This is a testament to the enduring power of Maya Angelou’s work. We also hope that many will heed her last public words and many more will continue to be encouraged by the legacy of work this legendary women left us.

Rest in peace Maya Angelou, the original Phenomenal Woman.