As I'm sure most of you have heard, Maya Angelou passed away yesterday. Normally, I'm not one to pause and really reflect on a celebrity death, though I did do a research paper in grad school about our societal obsession with them. It's a little weird for me to actually mourn someone I never met. That was until yesterday.
Yes, I am normal and am sad to heard about anyone dying, but if it's a celebrity, it's hard to really grasp because these people are so easy to be in contact with, without really ever being in contact with them. Does that make sense? But Maya Angelou is different. She's not really a celebrity like we might normally define them. But she is an icon, a role model, a pillar of strength and a movement in herself. And her writing makes her so relatable even if her journey is really unimaginable to me. I really fell in love with her and her writing on my own during college and have been captivated by her strength and grace ever since.
Surprisingly, with all of the writing classes I've had, none of her work was ever assigned reading, so discovering all of her work on my own and really enjoying it is really what makes me actually mourn her. What a life. If you don't know about her or know of anything beyond the few great quotes you can find online, I really suggest that you look into reading her work. My favorites of hers are Phenomenal Woman and Letter to My Daughter, but her most well-known is probably I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which is also wonderful and really lets you peek into her soul and begin to grasp where she's been.
Today I'll be remembering her. Through the rest of my life though, I'm sure I'll remember her writing and continue to read and reread it. I cannot even describe the impact she's made on my life as a woman, a writer, an activist, and just a person in general. Such a great example of faith and perseverance.
April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014