President Obama has released a statement on the death of Maya Angelou, expressing his love for the legendary activist, poet, author, and playwright.
“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 says.
“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.Â In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya” Obama adds.
In 2010, President Obama awarded Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, and in 2012 First Lady Obama had the opportunity to present Angelou with the Literary Arts Award at the BET Honors held in Washington, DC.
Angelou passed away on May 28 at the age of 86 in her Winston-Salem home. And while we will no longer be graced by her physical presence, Obama makes it clear that her legacy will live forever.
“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.”