A black ribbon was tied around a tree in front of the Brown Chapel Christian Methodist Church in Stamps, Arkansas Wednesday in honor of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
The writer passed away at age 86 at her home Wednesday morning.
"They planted this tree in memory of Maya you know, because she was from here," said Maurine Brown, a Stamps resident.
Inside the small house of worship Angelou attended while growing up in Stamps, there were more memories.
"The last time she was on a visit she came to the church and sit right there and sang a song and sang a hymn," said Mary Brown, a friend of the poet.
It had been several years since Angelou had made a visit to the Southwest Arkansas town, yet the news of her passing was still a surprise, Brown said.
"I knew she was in grave condition but I didn't think it was going to happen this quick and when I got the call this morning I was a little bit shocked about it," she said.
Although a bit younger than the poet, Brown and Angelou attended classes at what was then called the Lafayette County Training School.
"And it is not anybody that is her age that she was in school with when she was here is here anymore," Brown said.
The last time Angelou was in Stamps, Brown said she was able to prepare a meal for the writer, singer and dancer.
"And she came right over there and fitted right in," Brown said. "We served buffet and helped her own plate. She laughed. The funny part about is, 'Did you cook any collard greens?' So she remembered the collard greens."
And now residents of this Lafayette County town are remembering her for her accolades across the nation, and right in Stamps' corner of the country.
"She was a great person," said resident Sandalyn Bullock. "She meant a lot to the community with all her wise wisdom."