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Our Better Health

May 28, 2014

Best known for her poems and essays, Maya Angelou was a Rennaisance woman. She died on Wednesday at the age of 86.

As a poet, author, playwright, director, performer, actress, professor, producer, singer and civil right’s activist, “I have created myself,” she told USA Today. “I have taught myself so much.”

Many of us read her best known book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in school. Published in 1969, it lyrically recounted her years growing up in the Jim Crow South. The memoir was one of the first autobiographies by a 20th century black woman to reach a general readership.

In addition to her six volumes of autobiographies, Angelou wrote iconic poems including “Still I Rise,” which Nelson Mandela read aloud at his presidential inauguration.

Angelou received her most national attention in 1993 when she recited the poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration.

Angelou’s powerful words…

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