Our Living Literary Treasures

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2) Maya Angelou: Poet, author, autobiographer

Best known for:” I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” “Phenomenal Woman”, “Still I Rise”

Why we love her: The unofficial poet-laureate of black America, Angelou has delighted readers for decades with her tender prose and her fascinating autobiographies. The shake dancer-turned writer rolled with the likes of Stokely Carmichael, Abbey Lincoln and Malcolm X, delivered a poem at President Clinton’s 1992 Inauguration and has even popped up in a few films.

Notable quotable: “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

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