Maya Angelou, Author, Actress, Poet And Civil Rights Activist Dies At 86 (Video)

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She was called Doctor, but Maya Angelou never went to college. She waited tables at 17 as a single mother while earning her high school diploma. This was after becoming  the world’s youngest cable car operator at age 14. She spent time working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights and she has inspired countless people throughout the last six decades with her memoirs, poems, dance, acting and activism. She addressed the nation at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. She spoke at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. Oprah Winfrey calls her a close friend, as do many many others.

Maya Angelou, by anyone’s estimation, matters.

But today, her publicist announced that the 86-year-old “poet laureate” of America has passed away. She died at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., Brann said. No further details were given but recent appearances by the 86-year-old had been cancelled due to reported  health issues. 

Here’s Angelou in one of her last interviews with Time Magazine:

Here she is speaking on the “power of words”:

And while some of Angelou’s most hallowed work is from the 1950s thru the civil rights movement, including her most famous memoir,  “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,”  modern artists like Common feature her words and talents like here:

Maya Angelou is gone, but hopefully her passing will not be in vain as more people will discover her words of inspiration and continue on in her honor.