When news broke Wednesday that Maya Angelou had passed away at age 86, those she impacted took to social networks to share what they learned and loved about the poet and activist.
"She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being," said Guy B. Johnson, Angelou's son, in a statement from the family on Angelou's Facebook page. He also confirmed that she died peacefully at home. "She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace."
"But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life," wrote Oprah Winfrey in an Instagram post. She preceded those words by listing many of Angelou's accomplishments, including her three Grammy Awards and her recitation of her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration. "She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace."
Essence Magazine Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Bush also used "fierce" to describe Angelou. Bush interviewed the visionary once over the phone and valued the relationship that Angelou and Essence had. In an interview with Trending Now, the editor talked about Angelou's impact on civil rights and women's rights along with the legacy for which she will be remembered.