Maya Angelou Dead at 86 – Wonderful Poet, Hardened Leftist
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Poet Maya Angelou passed away today at 86. She was found dead in her home. Angelou was a talented poet. She also was a hardened leftist who supported killers Fidel Castro and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress whose work defied description under a simple label, has died, her literary agent, Helen Brann, said Wednesday.
She died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Brann said.
A professor, singer and dancer, Angelou’s work spans several professions. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
She spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.
Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Calypso Lady.”
In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”
Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.