Poet and activist Maya Angelou, best known for her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was 86.
Angelou grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and Stamps, Arkansas. She had a varied career as a dancer, singer, teacher, actor, producer and a political activist. But she’s probably best known as the author of 30 books of prose and poetry. Angelou writes about her life with brutal honesty, an honesty that reflects the courage of someone determined to rise above her meager beginnings.
In 2009 Angelou spoke in Birmingham at an event for the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center. In an interview with Greg Bass for WBHM she reflected on her humble roots.