Monday, January 22, 2018

Reactions to the death of Maya Angelou

"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."

President Barack Obama

"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.' "

Former President Bill Clinton

"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."

Oprah Winfrey

"For those who never saw her, they can now listen to her and learn. She has much to teach this generation and generations unborn about what it means to be an authentic person and the power of the genuine. When she spoke, people listened. When she wrote, people read, and that happened because she lived and she was the word that became flesh and dwelled among us."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson

"From collaborating on two songs on my soundtrack for For Love of Ivy in 1968 to delivering her poem On the Pulse of Morning during the Clinton inaugural, 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."

Quincy Jones

"So sorry to hear about the passing of such a great woman. In addition to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I loved her recipes and manner! Wisdom at work! Enlightening for a nation!"

Aretha Franklin

Associated Press

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