Her poetry and prose inspired generations with messages of hope and harmony. Her poise and gracefulness, the very definition of a phenomenal woman. As we say goodbye to Dr. Maya Angelou, ESSENCE editors share the 15 reasons why she is our inspiration.
“I interviewed Dr. Angelou in 2010 in her home in Harlem and what I love most about her is her keen memory after 84 years. This is a woman who remembers every detail of every interaction with some of the world’s greatest people. We talked about her days choreographing with Alvin Ailey in San Francisco, hanging out with Langston Hughes, missing her friend James Baldwin, dancing with Amiri Baraka, counseling Oprah, taking calls from Malcolm X and her encounters with Dr. Martin Luther King. This is a woman who lived! She was wildly independent, willful and unapologetic. But at the end of the day, when you ask her about her greatest achievement, she always said it’s being a mother to her son Guy.” —Wendy Wilson, ESSENCE Magazine