Guy Johnson, the son of acclaimed writer, scholar, poet, and activist Maya Angelou, passed away Wednesday (February 16) at the age of 77.
The family posted a statement on Angelou’s official Facebook account that reads: “Mr. Guy Johnson, the son of the late Maya Angelou, passed away peacefully at his home this morning in Oakland, Calif.” The message added that, “Arrangements will be made and announced in the coming days.”
“We ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time,” the message reads. “Thank you for your prayers and words of comfort and strength.”
Last year, Johnson worked with Wake Forest University to establish a new artist-in-residence program to honor Angelou.
“We are saddened by the loss of Maya Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, and send our sincere condolences to his family,” Wake Forest said in a statement Thursday (February 17).
“Mr. Johnson was a good friend to Wake Forest and recently worked with the university to establish the Maya Angelou Artist-in-Residence Award to honor his mother’s legacy, celebrate exceptional artists and inspire future generations of Wake Forest students.”
“One of the reasons I chose that image is, first off, I know how difficult it is to capture the actual essence and animus of a human being on a metal coin, and I thought that picture with the bird behind her, the wings and her arms out gave some sense of the style that she had, the grace that she had,” Johnson told the outlet this week.