Maya Angelou's last words: 'Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God'
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/28/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Fiery and passionate, onetime American poet laureate Maya Angelou's final words were of the heavenly father. "Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God," was her final message on Twitter. The message was posted last Friday and retweeted over and over again this week.
Maya Angelou as she appeared in 1971, with her book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was a time of eloquent words - the most eloquent being Angelou's.
Dying at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Angelou had been a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University.
"She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being," her son Guy B. Johnson said in a statement. "She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace."
Angelou spoke to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ernie Suggs in February prior to her appearance at a local conference.
"I learned things this week that I didn't know last week," she said. "This is one of the reasons one stays alive and interesting - they continue to learn. It was said that only the educated are free. That doesn't mean what you know today. But what you are going to believe tomorrow."
Angelou waxed philosophical about her advanced age. "I have lived long enough that I should know something. As soon as you know something, you should give it away. I used to think of myself as a writer who could teach. But really, I am a teacher who can write. As soon as you know something and you have tried it, tell it to someone."
She had been forced by illness to cancel an appearance this week at the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards Luncheon.
Former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador Andrew Young, whose 75th birthday she spoke at in Atlanta in 2007, recalled Angelou's active history of championing civil rights.
"She worked for Martin Luther King in the early days of the civil rights movement," he said. "She was a friend and confidante to Nelson Mandela and to me. She walked with kings, presidents and Nobel Prize winners and never lost the common touch."
A world-class poet, Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration and read another poem, "Amazing Peace," at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony during President George W. Bush's administration.
President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony.
"Dr. Maya Angelou was an exemplar whose life and teachings inspired millions around the world, including myself, to live with integrity, pride, courage and faith," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. "Her work as a poet, activist, teacher and poet will continue to inspire us for generations to come."
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