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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 28, 2014 - 4:15 pm

President Obama praised author and poet Maya Angelou, who died today at age 86, as “one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.”

“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 in a statement.

“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. 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.”

In 2010, Obama awarded Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said he was “saddened” by the passing of the “daughter of the South,” who “played an important role in our country and will be remembered for embodying so much of the American spirit – determination, grace and faith.”

“As much as her six volumes of work, including her autobiography, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ will be honored, at her core, she worked to encourage people around the world to begin ‘seeing us as more alike than we are unalike,’” Scott said.

“Whether as a poet, best-selling author, actress, civil rights activist or professor on college campuses, Dr. Angelou’s memory and contributions to our country will live on in the lives of the millions of people she touched.”

Rep. Wm. “Lacy” Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Angelou’s hometown of St. Louis, noted that her last tweet, five days ago, said, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

“Her passing is the loss of a great soul who knew the brutality of racism and violence in her youth,” Clay said. “She responded to evil and injustice with a piercing eloquence that spoke directly to the hearts of the American people and uplifted millions around the world.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
A well-loved artist has died?

Time for the PJM community to vent its spleen and give voice to its resentment. Its like clockwork.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it amusing that people who observably adore this woman because of her race talk about the racism of others.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Come on people....To be fair, it's nice for a change to see a poet as black role model
Instead of the usual dumb jock or rap gangster. Whether or not you like her writing Isn't
What's important. Maybe black youth will be inspired towards
Beauty instead of crass vulgarity and anger. As a white man I'm
All for that and you should be too!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think she is a good poet. I think 500 years from now, a few poems will still be read and anthologized in "best" poems of the English Language. Assuming there are still book-like anthologies 500 years from now.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
A well-loved artist has died?

Time for the PJM community to vent its spleen and give voice to its resentment. Its like clockwork.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well-loved by who and why? I can't think of a single poet I've ever doted on cuz they were white, nor have I ever called a white man "brother" or white woman "sister." You see, I am not a neo-Nazi racial supremacist delighted by the prospect of my own skin. Poets saying I am ain't poets, they're racists.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
You wouldn't be saying that if you had been forced to read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in high school. I thought I was going to die from boredom.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was inconsequential, but she was Dear Leader's "muse", I take it.

Other than that she will soon be forgotten, and we are well rid of her.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was not a good poet, and as annoying as all get-out.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it amusing that people who observably adore this woman because of her race talk about the racism of others.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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