Obama Remembers Maya Angelou, ‘a Truly Phenomenal Woman’

The president sent out a statement celebrating the life of the legendary activist and author.

Posted:
 
109136760-president-barack-obama-kisses-poet-and-author-maya
President Barack Obama kisses Maya Angelou after giving her the 2010 Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House Feb. 15, 2011.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Barack Obama voiced his love and appreciation for author, poet and activist Maya Angelou in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, remembering her as a "truly phenomenal woman."

"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," he said in the statement. "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 added. "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."

Obama awarded Angelou the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Angelou, 86, passed away in her home in North Carolina after battling with illness for some time. 

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM