Renowned poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died.
Dr. Maya Angelu’s death was confirmed this morning by her caretaker, but details have yet to be released on her cause of death.
Less than a week ago, the famed poet had tweeted:
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
Angelou has been ailing in recent weeks, and was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance in Texas at a baseball event. In response to her illness, Frank Robinson, the first black MLB manager, said:
“Dr. Maya Angelou is a powerful representation of everything we celebrate and recognize for the Civil Rights Game. Throughout her life and through her unprecedented roster of achievements, Dr. Angelou has exemplified the very definition of ‘pioneer.’ We wish she could be with us in person for this well-deserved recognition, and everyone at Major League Baseball wishes her a full and speedy recovery.”
The New York Times reported that Maya Angelou’s cause of death had not yet been determined, noting that the octogenarian had been in declining health for some time. The paper says:
“Her death was confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. No immediate cause of death had been determined, but Ms. Brann said Ms. Angelou had been in frail health for some time and had had heart problems.”
Reaction to the death of Angelou was swift on Twitter, where politicians, celebrities, and other notable figures mourned the loss of the civil rights activist and “RIP Maya Angelou” rapidly reached the top of the trending terms list:
We’ve lost a national treasure today, but her words, voice, and inspiration will stay with us always. RIP Maya Angelou
— D. Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) May 28, 2014
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) May 28, 2014
RIP Maya Angelou. Now that’s someone who left behind a body of work that will live forever….
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) May 28, 2014
#RIP Maya Angelou, who reminded us “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within”
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) May 28, 2014
In their pre-obituary piece, The New York Times described Angelou as a “literary witness” to the South during the Jim Crow era.
In the Facebook post above, Dr. Maya Angelou informs her 5.2 million fans that due to health-related reasons, she would be unable to attend the above mentioned Major League Baseball event.