As the world mourns the passing of Maya Angelou, many — like myself — have taken to paying tribute by posting photos and any specifically endearing quotes and/or passages that she has gifted us with through the years. Others shared personal stories — where they had the honor of speaking with her, or simply being in a room where she’s spoken.
Like the passing of Nelson Mandela only a few months ago, the loss of Maya Angelou signifies the loss of another legend; an icon who selflessly used her own life experiences to encourage others to see beyond their own challenges and disadvantages to — as she put it — rise to be and do greatness.
It is that distinction which makes her an inspiration and a jewel worldwide. While some writers get so immersed in their own stories that they borderline self-absorption, she always shared her story as a testament to the strength and character she embodied and embraced — always encouraging others to do the same.
Many who knew her, knew of her, or encountered her were always left indelibly touched, inspired, and empowered. Her spirit and her words were generous and hopeful. She made our hearts smile, even as we cried for her struggles and found our own renewed purpose in her stories of perseverance and resilience.
In memory of a woman who treated all people equal (and with love), and made it safe to proclaim all women bold, sexy and especially phenomenal…
Thank you, Dr. Angelou.