Maya Angelou

Chosen by President Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou delivered her dedicatory poem "On The Pulse of Morning" at the inaugural ceremony in January 1993. Considered one of our national treasures, and the author of many best-selling books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Even The Stars Look Lonesome. she stresses the value of ethnic, economic, and religious diversity in all undertakings. A passionate and powerful speaker, she challenges her audiences to invest their spirits and hearts in the elevation of the human condition. She is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman. A poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, making appearances and spreading her legendary wisdom. A mesmerizing vision of grace, swaying and stirring when she moves, she captivates her audiences lyrically with vigor, fire and perception. She has the unique ability to shatter the opaque prisms of race and class between reader and subject throughout her books of poetry and her autobiographies. In 1981, she was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. In January 1993, she became only the second poet in U.S. history to have the honor of writing and reciting original work at the Presidential Inauguration.

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