President Barack Obama released a statement on the death of acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou, whom he hailed as “one of the brightest lights of our time.”
“When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that ‘No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn,” said Obama in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time — a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.”
Obama went on to say Angelou’s background as a storyteller that should be most cherished.
“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. In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya,” Obama said.
“Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer,” Obama added. “And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, ‘flung up to heaven’ — and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.”
Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86 in her North Carolina home.
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