I know why the caged bird (and everyone else) weeps today. Legendary poet, author, civil rights activist, professor, director, singer, dancer, actress and inspiration to all Maya Angelou has gone up to heaven today. Maya Angelou’s publicist told CNN that she died at her home in Winston-Salem, NC this morning. She was 86. I know, this one hurts.
Maya was in a bad way recently and on Monday she wrote on Facebook that she would not be attending the MLB Beacon Award Luncheon, because doctors told her that she shouldn’t travel. Maya died with her caretaker and family by her side.
I know James Franco thinks he’s done it all, but Dr. Maya Angelou has really done it all. Before she wrote her groundbreaking memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the book your high school English teacher weeped while reading, she sang in a European touring production of Porgy & Bess and made an album. Even though Maya Angelou never went to college, she’s received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities all around the world. She was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for all her works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. I could go on and on and on about everything that Maya Angelou has done and accomplished (including giving Maya Rudolph good material for SNL). If you’re in high school and don’t want to go to college and your parents tell you that you’ll amount to nothing if you don’t, just say to them, “Well, Maya Angelou didn’t go to college.” Your ass probably won’t accomplish what Maya Angelou accomplished, but try that line anyway. It might work.
I know Oprah has said the perfect quote, “When people show you who they are, believe them,” so many times that you’d think she came up with it, but she didn’t. It came from the mind of Maya Angelou. It’s so true. Well, it’s almost so true. Don’t believe anything that Lindsay Lohan shows you, tells you, etc… There’s one exception.
And this was Maya Angelou’s last tweet:
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
Thank you, Maya Angelou. Rest in peace.