Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn issued statements on Wednesday in response to the death of Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais.
“Today, the thoughts and prayers of the people of Chicago join countless millions around the world in mourning the passing of Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou was a true national treasure. Through poetry, song, dance, and the spoken word, Dr. Angelou gave voice to generations of Americans and became an unstoppable force for peace, civil rights, and social justice. I will always be honored to have been present when she delivered her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning” at Present Clinton’s first inauguration, which was a call for inclusion and extending economic security to all Americans. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Dr. Angelou but we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever and inspire future generations working to build a more peaceful and compassionate world.”
“Maya Angelou was a towering figure of the arts who has inspired generations of people across the globe. Her life, talent and accomplishments read like an epic novel, and yet her works touch the mind and soul like few in our nation’s history. Maya’s example of overcoming almost unimaginable pain and silence to produce masterpieces that will live forever is a shining beacon for all. As she said, ‘I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.’ Thank you, Maya, for throwing us something back. I join people across Illinois today in remembering Maya Angelou’s life and work, and extend our condolences to her family, friends and millions of admirers.”