WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 28, 2014) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of legendary poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
The “Phenomenal Woman” writer died this morning in her Winston-Salem, North Carolina home, according to reports.
Born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928, Angelou is famous for the iconic, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and the poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," which she recited in 1993 at President Bill Clinton's inauguration. Angelou appeared in several films, including 1977's Roots and 1993's Poetic Justice,which made her poem "Phenomenal Woman", an anthem for women of all walks of life. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2011, which is the United States’ highest civilian honor.
“Today we lost one of the most prolific authors and thinkers of our time. Her words, poetry and stories were stirring, and her activism was inspiring,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “Maya Angelou was a true American hero, a woman of eloquence and strength. She will be greatly missed.”
Angelou’s activism was a steady force throughout her life, she fought for equality on all levels and once said, "prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible."
The iconic Angelou will be deeply missed. NABJ extends its deepest condolences to Dr. Angelou's fans, friends and family. An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.
DR. MAYA ANGELOU....A great literary writer, poet, and civil rights activist has transitioned, leaving her legacy of courage, power, strength and words of wisdom. I am missing her already.
Marsha Cooper Stroman