This Day in Black History: April 4, 1928

Poet, author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was born.

Posted: 04/04/2013 08:00 AM EDT
This Day in Black History: April 4, 1928

World renowned writer Maya Angelou, born on April 4, 1928, captivated audiences with her powerful prose for decades. Angelou penned memoirs, such as 1969's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and had a writing voice that is internationally revered.

During her career, Angelou published six autobiographies, five essay compilations and several poetry books, served as playwright for several shows and has performed on stage and in front of the camera on numerous occasions.

As a civil rights activist, Angelou gave voice to women and African-Americans alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Years later, she grabbed the attention of viewers around the globe when she had the distinction of reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" during former president Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.

Angelou received more than 30 honorary degrees, served on two presidential committees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008.

Angelou died on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.

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(Photo: Ken Charnock/Getty Images)

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