Rest in Peace Maya Angelou


The Week Of Diana

The dark lantern of world sadness has cast its shadow upon the land.

We stumble into our misery on leaden feet.

Our minds seek to comprehend the unknowable and our hearts seek to

Measure a tomorrow without the Sunshine Princess.

Her hands which had held bright tiaras and jewelled crowns,

Also stroked the faces of pain along

Angola’s dusty roads.

She was born to the privilege of plenty

Yet, she communed with the needy without a show of pompous piety.

Glowing in Bosnia, radiant at glittering balls,

We came to love her and claim her for her grace and accessibility.

Luminous always.

We smiled to see her enter and grinned at her happiness.

Now the world we made is forever changed…

Made smaller, meaner, less colorful.

Yet, because she did live,

Because she ventured life and confronted change,

She has left us a legacy.

We also may dare…

To care for some other than ourselves and those who look like us.

And maybe we can take a lesson from her

And try to live our lives

With passion, compassion, humor and grace.

Goodbye Sunshine Princess.

– Maya Angelou

Written specially for The Guardian, September 5, 1997

Maya Angelou was my favorite author.  I have every book she has ever written. I’ve written lesson plans based on her writing at every grade level I’ve taught from first grade to college.  Today, the world does seem less colorful.

Updated with thoughts from Oprah, Clinton, Quincy Jones and Obama.

President Barack Obama: “When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that ‘No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.’

Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time — a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman. Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things — an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller — and her greatest stories were true. A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking — but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves. In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.

Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, ‘flung up to heaven’ — and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.”

Oprah Winfrey: “I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20′s. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her.

She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it’s how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.”

Quincy Jones: “I am so deeply saddened about the loss of my dear friend, colleague and sister of 46 years, Maya Angelou. From collaborating on two songs on my soundtrack for ‘For Love of Ivy’ in 1968 to delivering her poem ‘Pulse of the Morning’ during the Clinton Inaugural in 1992, working with Maya always brought joy and love. As an author and poet, Maya Angelou’s ability to channel God’s voice and express the feelings deep within all of humanity will never be matched by another. She gave us words when we could find none, and helped us to see clearly when the light was dimmest. Maya would always teasingly say to me, ‘Darling, let’s have ‘lurnch”, and I will always be ready. I will miss her deeply, but I know her presence will always be with us.”

President Bill Clinton: “With Maya Angelou’s passing, America has lost a national treasure; and Hillary and I, a beloved friend.

The poems and stories she wrote and read to us in her commanding voice were gifts of wisdom and wit, courage and grace.

I will always be grateful for her electrifying reading of “On the Pulse of Morning” at my first inaugural, and even more for all the years of friendship that followed.

Now she sings the songs the Creator gave to her when the river ‘and the tree and the stone were one.’

Our deepest sympathies are with Guy and his family.”


Filed under News

49 responses to “Rest in Peace Maya Angelou

  1. Filled with sorrow. RIP

  2. Monique

    Oh gosh. She made this world a better place.

  3. Rest in Peace Mama Dr. Angelou.. Thank you for inspiring many lives.

  4. vonnie

    Because of her, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. RIP.

  5. When I was in my early 20’s I stood in line for HOURS at a bookstore in Boston to get her to autograph my first copy of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” I have also read everything she has written. She was an amazing woman. I wasn’t always a big fan of Oprah, but every time Maya Angelou was on, I would tune in. My favorite poem by her was, “Phenomenal Woman.” She will be missed.

    • ​I was fortunate enough to be an invited guest, as a faculty member of a HBC, to one of her lectures. I was seated very close to the podium with Coretta Scott King nearby. At that time, I wasn’t really having a lot of panic attacks, and I was a bit freaked out that I shook like a leaf during the entire event. She seemed to look directly at me a lot. It was a very big deal. She was just a radiant person.

      On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Tamara Tattles wrote:


    • vonnie

      I reference that poem often in sessions with a group of women that I am working with as a volunteer..

    • Monique

      Mine too. Phenomenal woman. For every girl, or woman, with low self-esteem.

  6. RIP Maya Angelou…..gone but not forgotten!!!

  7. Riley

    A huge sadness came over me when I saw this post. What a wonderful and intelligent soul she was. Was one of my favorite authors. I hope someone writes a tribute worthy as the one that Tamara chose to post here that she
    wrote of Diana.

  8. TC

    RIP Maya! You will not be forgotten.

  9. Blanca

    Dr. Maya Angelou, such a treasure….RIP.

  10. spk

    The heart just sank when seeing this post. Her writing has such grace and such truth to it, it sometimes stung to read it. What a potent experience that must have been TT, to be invited to her lecture. Wishing her family peace.

  11. vivaladiva831

    i was fortunate enough to have her as a surprise guest speaker at a conference i attended in jacksonville two years ago. a tiny woman, but a huge presence. she also had a great sense of humor – as she was wheeled onto the dais, she introduced herself and said to two people in front -“i’ll wait until you’re done talking, unless you think you’ve got something more interesting to say and i can step aside and let you have the floor.”

  12. Riley

    Excuse me while I post again…..I was so moved by a person, that in a very few words could say so much. When I heard her say…If you learn….teach. If you get…give. I was so moved by the simplicity of two short sentences…I became an adoring fan. I hope she knew how much she gave us with her thoughts and words. What a better place this would be if only we all followed those two simple but powerful sayings.

    • soccermop59

      She was so honest in her words…she spoke nothing but wisdom and knowledge, something we lack so much these days.

  13. soccermop59

    The world will miss the voice that spoke so soft, so sweet and so so honest in her words….Rest In Peace my dear sister, you will be missed!!

  14. marc

    Great tribute T.T <3 her work.

  15. Born 2B Lucky

    And still, I rise!!… I love you Maya Angelou. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and for me countless others. ..HER WORDS were music to my ears. R.I.P.

  16. Born 2B Lucky

    Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 to May 28, 2014) written by Poetic Flow.

    A mother, poet, author, actress, director and so much more,
    You are now entering Heaven’s door,
    Where you will be “Touched by an Angel” with a great big smile,
    And arms open wide.

    Here on earth we will be in “Remembrance” of you,
    And recalling all of the “Woman Work” you were dedicated to do,
    As we read your poetry, your books, watch movies you were in or directed,
    Quoting your quotes and just having reflection.

    One thing is for sure, I must say,
    “The Rock Cries Out to Us Today”,
    Because a legend in her time,
    Has gone on to a “Weekend Glory” divine.

    You left us with awesome memories & tons of fun,
    Therefore you made sure when you left we wouldn’t be “Alone”,
    There is nothing about you that was boring,
    As we awakened with the sun rise to hear of your passing “On the Pulse of Morning.”

    We thank you for “The Lesson”,
    For each and every blessing,
    For every single thing,
    I believe if we didn’t know before we now know “Why The Caged Bird Sings.”

    You always gave us spiritual insight & reached out your hand,
    You my dear were definitely a “Phenomenal Woman” with much command,
    And on this day as the tides roll high,
    We say it with you “STILL I RISE!”

    Your contribution will NEVER be forgotten!

  17. terry macon

    You came and gave me Peace when I had none, you gave me hope when all I could see was dispair and dome for myself and my girls. Now I’m a Great grand mother reading your books the all four. Remember me in the promise Land. Made I out !!!
    ” You are not gone you are just away”

  18. Bravogirl24/7

    Maya Angelou, your words are eternal

  19. MaggieG

    Another light has gone out in the world. RIP Maya Angelou.

  20. What an exceptional and inspiring LADY Ms. Angelou was. For those who haven’t yet read “I know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, I highly recommend you do at your earliest convienence.
    TT, thank you for providing a place for us to express our thoughts and gratitude for the life of this exceptional human being ! God Bless her, may she Rest In Peace knowing how much she will be remembered

  21. HannahKingRose

    Maya Angelou, a woman who through her words, wisdom, insights and deeds has made those of us who do not know her personally feel as though we have lost a mother, sister and friend. Thankfully even young children will be able to meet her by all the treasures she has left us. RIP Maya Angelou. Heaven received an angel today.

  22. Tarek'sWife

    Thank you, Tamara!

  23. RealChicagoHousewife

    The singing bird is forever free of her cage. She spoke to my soul. RIP

  24. MomofAJ

    Queen, legend, beautiful, statuesque, powerful, phenomenal woman…rest in paradise. Tearfully submitted.

  25. Teerii

    If ever there was evidence(for me) that we are Spirit Beings in this human experience, the life of Maya Angelou was it! She always reached higher than was expected,she went further than what was allowed, she lived out loud and in the Open. Maya defied anyone to question her right to exist. And in return she showed compassion, offered Love and wished the Light of joy and hope upon us all.
    I want to thank you Maya Angelou for being with us in these years of our
    human history. We certainly needed you and you came. Thank You…………..

  26. O.O

    As child read and enjoyed all of her books . Unfortunately I never got into the books of poetry . Perhaps it’s time ……She went through so much and remained strong .
    Rest In Peace Maya Angelou

  27. ClassyLady80

    She was such a bright light in a world with so much darkness… truly a woman touched by God. I know He welcomed her home with wide open arms.

  28. myinfo

    She was a great woman. RIP

  29. deedle

    Thank you for the tribute. Give my daddy a hug for me Maya and enjoy your eternal life *sniff♡♥♡*

  30. Mindy Mc

    The only thing better than reading her words was listening to that magnificent voice read them aloud. What a treasure.

  31. LisaLisaDiva

    I grew up knowing that Maya Angelou was a the most gifted, spiritual and womanly influence in my life. Other than my own mother, has any woman influenced me more to push through and succeed through many of life’s storms .I loved knowing that I breathe the air that she breathed. Now that she’s gone I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to take a deep enough breath. So If I can’t breath with her, I’ll breath through the many works that she crafted with such soul defying artistry. Love & Blessed a farewell to the genius that she is and will forever remain.

  32. Wampascat

    I am saddened by her passing. I was inspired by her words. Fly high, sweet lady.

  33. Valerie

    I always wanted to be in her circle of loved ones. Just to be in the room. I knew these people she called friends were blessed. It would have been so wonderful to break bread with this woman and just be able to listen and learn from her. You just knew she was this beautiful presence in the room. What an inspiration. Thanks Tamara.

  34. She was most certainly a phenomenal woman…

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing with us.


  35. Valerie

    Thanks for the link. Made me both smile and cry. I wish I could have known her, but I’m glad to have her written words. She is what I can only aspire to. May she get the peace she wholeheartedly deserves.

  36. Valerie

    Another post from me. From her book, WOULDN’T TAKE NOTHING FOR MY JOURNEY NOW, she writes,

    “It is imperative that a woman keep her sense of humor intact and at the ready. She must see, even if only in secret, that she is the funniest, looniest woman in her world, which she should also see as being the most absurd world of all times.”

  37. No one special

    Indomitable spirit. Gentle soul. Wise woman.
    When the sun rose this morning, I could hear her rich, joyful laughter.

  38. Middle Child

    Her voice was mesmerising, I could listen to her for hours. May your light continue to shine as you make your way to your eternal home.

  39. Riley

    People will forget what you do. People will.forget what you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel…..
    And she made us feel so many things. She was so right…I will NEVER forget how she made me feel. Never….

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