Social media waves became electrified with the overflow of emotion at the news of the passing of much loved poet, author, activist and friend, Maya Angelou, May 28, at the age of 86.

“Maya Angelou was a force of strength, beauty, and resilience whose voice will be missed around the world. Her ability to grasp strands of hope in even the most devastating circumstances has inspired generations of Americans, and her capacity to express her story through her poetry and prose made her an international icon,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

“Despite experiencing poverty and violence in her childhood, Ms. Angelou danced with Alvin Ailey, acted on Broadway, taught at Wake Forest University, spoke at a Presidential inauguration, and advanced the Civil Rights Movement. In each of these roles, she served as a model of grace and determination for those who face adversity, often speaking directly to them with incomparable phrases like, ‘You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.’

AFRO Facebook fan Rebecca Schetler called her an “extraordinary woman.” LaShonda Davis called her, “Our Queen.” Dr. Linda Fisher said, “You are light and darkness, you are earth and air. I know why the caged bird sings.”

News of her death was followed closely by a Facebook post under the name of her son, Guy B. Johnson, that said, “Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.” He ended with his assurance that “she is looking down on us with love.”

Zakiyyah Seitu with Angelou

Poet Nikki Giovanni said of
her friend, “She did everything 100 percent so that’s a good thing. If she fell in love, she got married. When she fell out of love, she got divorced.
I loved that about her, because
she wasn’t always trying to justify something.”
Oprah Winfrey posted on her Facebook page, “What stand out to me most about Maya Angelou…is how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace,” adding “She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.”
Angelou once said, “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.”