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Farewell to poet and civil rights activist: Maya Angelou dies at 86

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Today tears are shed by people around the globe in honor of the wonderful woman, Maya Angelou, who has passed away at age 86. As reported by CNN, Angelou's literary agent, Helen Brann, reported Maya Angelou's death Wednesday morning. Angelou's lifestyle as an actress, singer, artist of words and a leader speaking out for civil rights encouraged respect and a faithful following.

Maya Angelou know as an author and as an outspoken civil rights advocate was so much more.

According to poets.org Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri with the given name of Marguerite Johnson. Angelou went on to live an amazing and full life maybe in spite of the times in which she was raised. At a time when people of color were shunned Angelou fought back and refused to live her life according to society.

Not only an author and poet, Angelou was a songwriter and playwright. She worked on stage and screen as a director, producer and singer. Perhaps most notably, according to poets.org, Angelou was the first black woman director in Hollywood.

Oprah.com reports that her being raped at eight years of age by her mother's boyfriend triggered years of living in a world of silence before beginning to write. A few years after giving birth to her son, Guy at 17 years old, the grief from her Grandmother's death woke Angelou to promising herself to live her life to its fullest.

Angelou actively supported civil rights and worked with, and was honored by, many of United States Presidents.

Stated in poets.org, in 1959 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked Maya Angelou to work as the northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. President Gerald Ford appointed Angelou to be on the Bicentennial Commission in 1974 and then she was chosen for International Woman of the Year by President Jimmy Carter.

For President Bill Clinton's Inauguration Angelou wrote a poem, “On The Pulse of the Morning" in which she also read. The National Medal of Arts was given to Angelou in 2000. President Barack Obama awarded Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

Maya Angelou spoke and wrote words that invoked others to think about life and what matters. Angelou's Facebook page may say it best when wishing to understand what Angelou was all about. Simply written on Angelou's Facebook about tab "We are more alike than unalike". Farewell to a woman who did more than her part to make a peaceful impact on our world.

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