Author Maya Angelou dies at age 86

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We all woke to sad news this morning. 

Author, poet, and activist Maya Angelou has died

When I learned of this a felt a sadness akin to that of losing a relative or a friend. I never met Ms. Angelou but she touched my life in a way I struggle putting into words. 

She is one of the reasons I am a writer. 

I started reading her poetry at an early age and I found myself in her verse. 

She, along with poets like Nikki Giovanni, urged me to write poetry of my own and as terrible as my poetry may have been compared to theirs those exercises helped me find my voice. 

Ms. Angelou was brave enough to tell her story and thus gave me the courage to tell mine. And she showed me that writing could be a form of activism. She showed me that writing could change the world by touching one life at a time. 

And every time I read "Phenomenal Woman" I feel beautiful, powerful, and divine. 

Young Maya Angelou

In honor of Ms. Angelou's memory, USA Today compiled a list of 13 of her best quotes. Here's my favorite: 

 "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

This is the way I want to live too. And I thank Ms. Angelou for inspiring me not only to write but to live a life worth writing about.