A Phenomenal Woman – Rest In Peace Maya Angelou

This piece is written by my intern for the day Candynce Newbill.


The caged bird has taken her last flight…

This morning we mourn the loss of award winning poet, director, sister, and friend, Miss Maya Angelou. After canceling many engagements in the past month due to a generous number of “unexpected ailments”, Dr. Maya Angelou gained her wings this morning in her long time home of Winston-Salem, North Carolina at age 86.

Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri as Marguerite Annie Johnson. Her first rise to fame was as a singer in the 1950’s. She grew to more prominence with her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. She became the first African-American female big-screen movie director in 1998 with her direction of “Down in the Delta”.

Miss Angelou accumulated a great amount of awards in her precious lifetime including 3 Grammys, and nominations for a Pulitzer, Tony, and Emmy. She leaves behind her only son, Guy Johnson.

As an English Education student immersed in the world of literature and poetic arts, Dr. Maya Angelou has been nothing less than a role model and inspiration to me as well as my writing. I first encountered her work as a middle school student at the age of 12 when I was charged with the assignment to read her autobiography, Now I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I immediately could identify with many of the struggles she endured as a youth such as poverty and abuse; however, her perseverance did aid in teaching me that a struggle does not determine your end result. Hard work and faith can in fact take you to anywhere you dream! As I further delved into her work, the eloquence and rhythm used in popular pieces such as “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman” served as great examples for my own writing.  Her work gave me a whole new perspective and dedication. Maya Angelou, you will be missed, but your wise words will live on in our hearts all over the world forever.





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