5 Small Tributes To Maya Angelou

5 Small Tributes To Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, today. The cause has yet to be determined. She was 86.

Sadly, it's easier to learn a lot about someone extraordinary after they've passed. Fans find themselves inundated with quotes and information, and readers can't help but wonder, "Why didn't I know all this before?"

As a tribute to Maya Angelou, here are 5 very small notes about her life and her work, 5 tributes to do our part to make sure her story lives on. They are but small pieces of an incredible story.

1. Maya Angelou learned very young the power of voice. A young Maya testified against a man who raped her at age 7. The man was later beaten to death, and Maya thought it was her voice that had killed him. She stopped speaking for nearly 6 years.

2. Maya Angelou was San Francisco's first African-American female cable car conductor.

3. Maya gave birth to her son at the age of 16. When her now-grown son, Guy Johnson, was asked whether he ever felt like he was growing up in his famous mother's shadow, his response was:

No, I didn't. I grew up in her light.

4. Maya Angelou spoke English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and West African Fanti.

5. Finally, a quote. Take special care to read the last lines:

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Wishing Maya Angelou rest. With all the peace there is.

Image of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author: Maya Angelou
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Ballantine Books (2009)
Binding: Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Image of The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
Author: Maya Angelou
Price: $44.62
Publisher: Random House (1994)
Binding: Hardcover, 273 pages

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