WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (CBSMiami/AP) — The renowned female author and poet Maya Angelou has died.
Wake Forest University announced Angelou’s death in a news release Wednesday. She was 86.
Angelou rose from poverty, segregation and violence to become a force on stage, screen and the printed page.
She gained acclaim for her first book, her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller.
In 1998, she directed the film “Down in the Delta” about a drug-wrecked woman who returns to the home of her ancestors in the Mississippi Delta.
She was the poet chosen to read at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993. She wrote and read an original composition, “On the Pulse of Morning,” which became a million-seller.
School officials of Maya Angelou Elementary in Miami-Dade County saw her as an inspiration.
“Every brown girl loves phenomenal woman, so when you hear that you automatically think of Maya Angelou and it was just like a girl’s power, girls rock type of poem so of course she was our ‘shero’ icon, a legend for girls all around the world,” said Adrena Wiliams, the principal of the Maya Angelou Elementary.
Wiliams said Dr. Angelou was no stranger to the school. She attended the school’s dedication ceremony in 1995. In 2004, she attended the school’s Maya Angelou Day.
Despite knowing Angelou had recently been sick, Wiliams said her death is still hard to believe.
Angelous last tweet was just four days before her death. She tweeted, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”
“I tend to call a person like Dr. Maya Angelou, quiet thunder…they may not say a whole lot but it’s powerful,” said Wiliams.
The principal said students in the school will be reading be reading some of her poetry aloud tomorrow as part of her memorial service in here honor.
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