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Celebrating Maya Angelou: A Queen Without Boundaries


Award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou has died. She was 86.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines confirmed Angelou was found by her caretaker on Wednesday morning. Angelou’s publicist, Helen Brann, also confirmed the news. "I created myself," she has said. "I have taught myself so much."
Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated Stamps, Arkansas.

The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for almost a decade. When she was 7, her mother's boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.
"My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years," she said.
Angelou spoke at least six languages, and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. During that time, she wrote "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," launching the first in a series of autobiographical books.



"I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine ... before she realizes she's reading," she said.
Angelou was also one of the first black women film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.
 "Look where we've all come from ... coming out of darkness, moving toward the light," she has said. "It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet."



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