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The Legacy of Maya Angelou




Maya Angelou answers questions at her portrait unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. She passed away this morning in her home in North Carolina at age 86.
Maya Angelou answers questions at her portrait unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. She passed away this morning in her home in North Carolina at age 86.
Paul Morigi/AP Images for National Portrait

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The high school dropout who became one of America’s most powerful literary voices passed away in her North Carolina home this morning at age 86.

Maya Angelou was a poet, activist, actress, professor and singer whose work is globally revered. During her lifetime, she became one of the most beloved authors in American literature, pushing literary boundaries with stories that spoke about the African-American existence under Jim Crow laws in the United States. Her book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is one of the most praised books in literature today.

Angelou’s list of accomplishments includes three Grammys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Presidential Medal of Arts, and the Lincoln Medal. Her countless acts of activism tied her to historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks. Her most significant contribution was becoming one of the first African-American female authors to have commercial success, paving the way for future generations.

Guest:

Reverend Cecil Williams, Founder of Glide Church in San Francisco, where Maya Angelou was a frequent visitor. Cecile and Maya were close friends.