Author, poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86. As one of the literary world’s most influential figures, Angelou’s legacy has been enriched by a life replete with terrible struggles overcome by amazing triumphs.
Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Mo. Her older brother gave her the nickname Maya, which stuck with her throughout her life. When her parents split up, Maya and her brother were sent to live in Arkansas with a grandparent.
When reunited in St. Loius with their mother, Angelou was assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend when she was just eight years old. The man was charged but only jailed for a day, and was later found dead. This series of events traumatized Angelou but also led to her creative awakening.
The siblings were sent back to Arkansas, which like much of the…
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the death of poet and author Maya Angelou has dimmed “one of the brightest lights of our time.”
Obama said in a statement that he and first lady Michelle Obama will cherish the time they spent with Angelou.
He said Angelou had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children and that we all have something to offer.
“Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time: a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman,” Obama said.
“Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things: an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller, and her greatest stories were true.
Obama said “a childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to…
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