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Maya Angelou, the renowned poet, novelist and actress, has died aged 86 sparking a wave of mourning on Twitter.
During her long career, Angelou published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
As well as her published work, Angelou was an activist in the fights for both women’s and black rights. Her efforts in all fields saw her given more than 50 awards throughout her career, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play Look Away, and three Grammys for her spoken word albums.
Her final tweet, dated 23 May, read:
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
The outpouring of sympathy from Twitter was so great that it quickly became the world’s top trending topic.
Many of those remembering Angelou on Twitter chose to do so with quotes from her life:
"It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody." RIP Maya Angelou pic.twitter.com/4EhIGe1Ps3
— Jennifer Palumbo (@JenNimePalumbo) May 28, 2014
"Cooking for those you love the most is the only dessert one needs"~RIP Maya Angelou pic.twitter.com/7Bq3DSXx78
— Foodimentary (@Foodimentary) May 28, 2014
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." – RIP Maya Angelou pic.twitter.com/YOzEzqs0pG
— EdelmanTalent (@EdelsideTalent) May 28, 2014
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." RIP Maya Angelou
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) May 28, 2014
“I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' – RIP Maya Angelou
— Kuro (@taefmp) May 28, 2014
Others felt that they couldn’t do justice to what the author had meant to them:
RIP Maya Angelou. I'm not even going to try to write something inspirational about her it wouldn't do her justice.
— Mbali Ntuli (@mbalimcdust) May 28, 2014
There’s no doubting however that Angelou was a massive influence on many people’s lives:
Almost everything I learnt about life and womanhood was the result of reading the incredible works of Dr Maya Angelou. RIP Maya Angelou :'(
— Victoria (@MyCurlsUK) May 28, 2014
RIP Maya Angelou – your life was a lesson in compassion. Your words gave introspection to our thoughts. A legacy to behold. #sweetangel
— Mandy Morrow (@toucan2) May 28, 2014
RIP Maya Angelou. And thank you.
— Michael Buckley (@buckhollywood) May 28, 2014
Image: Talbot Troy via Flickr.