A Tribute To The Life Of The Inspirational Maya Angelou (VIDEOS)

Wednesday, the death of Maya Angelou, at the age of 86, took the world by surprise, but her wonderful legacy lives on. She was a woman of many talents, especially her inspirational poems and books. She was known as a poet, author, songwriter, singer, dancer, producer, director, actress, and civil rights activist. She also spoke French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Fanti, a West African language.

The autobiography series

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson, in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928, Dr. Angelou wrote the first tome of her six-volume autobiography in 1969, and she finished with an overview in 2013. The memoir was cataloged as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman and was an internationally acclaimed success. Here is the list of volumes from the autobiography series:

  • I Know why The Caged Bird Sings (1969)
  • Gather Together in My Name (1974)
  • Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976)
  • The Heart of a Woman (1981)
  • All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986)
  • A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002)
  • Mom & Me & Mom (2013)

Her work on television

She also worked in television as a producer, director, actress and also as a writer for movies and television programs. As a matter of fact, she was the first black woman to work as a director in Hollywood. She also cooperated with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Awards & honorary degrees

Over the course of her life, she received several awards and over 50 honorary degrees. In 1993, her fame brought President Bill Clinton to ask her to compose and recite a poem, On the pulse of morning, for his inauguration. You can watch it below:

Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library

A legacy that will continue to influence us

Maya Angelou was an admirable woman and even though her death was an immense shock to everybody, her legacy will continue to influence us to be the best that we can be and never to accept defeat. We have the power to surpass ourselves, and Dr. Angelou has given us the proof that it can be done. Below, is a video where you can learn her life story:

Photo credit: pennstatenews/Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0

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