Guy Johnson is the only son of Marguerite Ann Johnson, better known as author, poet and human right activist Dr. Maya Angelou –one of the most influential voices of our time. We are sadden to hear the news of his mother’s death, many reports are paying tribute to her outstanding legacy; from Sesame Street to the White House, his mother’s story awed millions.
Johnson’s mother was 86, and her death was confirmed by a family representative and by officials at the Winston-Salem mayor’s office in North Carolina, where she had been living.
A statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family was posted to her Facebook account a few hours ago, it reads
Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Guy B. Johnson
His iconic mother had been honored with more than 50 awards, including the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for her collected works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, most notably her groundbreaking memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made history as one of the first nonfiction best-sellers by an African-American woman.
During an episode of “Super Soul Sunday” on OWN Oprah asked Angelou what she is most proud of, to what she responded
“My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son,”
Like his mother, Guy became a writer and poet; who was born when his other was only 17-years-old, she named him Clyde but he later changed his name to Guy Johnson. During his childhood he accompanied his mother through out her many journeys as she attempted to raise him without job training or advanced education.
During an interview he said he said he was often asked what’s it like to be her mother’s son, he said
I grew up in her light. Sometimes I wasn’t worthy of it, but it has always been an experience that expanded me.”
Guy is a father of one, according to online info, the woman with whom he fathered his son took him in 1981 and his son was found eight years later. As a result of a car accident in Accra and one in the late 1960s, he underwent a series of spinal surgeries. Johnson severely injured his spinal cord in the crash when he was in his late 20s, and he was left temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. A young Guy was told he would never walk again, it was then when he begged his mother Maya Angelou to end his life.
Just like his mother had said to him, Johnson did recover and he was able to walk out of the hospital. The African-American has written several books, including: 1983 “Save the Stratford Canal!” 1998 “Standing at the Scratch Line” 2001 “Standing at the Scratch Line: A Novel” 2002 “Echoes of a distant summer” 2011 “Echoes of a Distant Summer: A Novel”
Is said Guy still suffers with the side effects of his injuries.
We send him our deepest condolences during this tough times.