the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou wrote that “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. However, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Few people lived with more courage and taught us more about the lessons of our history than she did.  Through her own life and through our country’s struggle for civil rights—through the sting of segregation, the denial of the ballot box and rights of women, through the violence of billy clubs and bullets—Dr. Angelou’s prophetic words and resonant voice taught us about the unyielding power of love, equality, and justice for all.  She was not only a recorder of history, but she was the conscience of a movement that pushed the country forward. Jill and I were honored to have met her and learned from her. We are saddened by her loss and join millions of people from around the country who will re-read her words with heavier hearts, but unbowed spirits to carry on the pursuit toward that more perfect union she gave voice to and inspired as the hero among us.