Maya Angelou

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Let’s begin our journey in black history with a woman whom I truly admire. This individual has spoken so much through her books, interviews, and other vehicles. What I have always loved about Maya Angelou was her confidence. I love how she lived her message.

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in April 1928 in St. Louis, the woman we now know as Maya Angelou began her journey that shaped her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her first marriage was to a German man in 1951; Angelou entered an interracial marriage in 1951.

Miss Angelou was an active supporter of both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, and won a Grammy for her delivery of a poem at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural address.

In her later years she succumbed to respiratory distress but, according to her son, still published four books in ten years near the end of her life. She was also working on an autobiography when she died in May 2014.

This is by no means comprehensive, but encapsulates what I have learned from Maya Angelou. I have learned to stand up and speak up for what I believe in. I have learned not to be afraid of what other people think about me, if I think what I am doing is right. I have learned that politics are an important part of our society, and it is important to support the candidate you feel is best at a particular point in the election. I have learned that it is never okay to give up, that you must endure until you literally cannot anymore. For all of these things, and more, I thank the late Maya Angelou.

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