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Other view: Maya Angelou did it all

If renaissance is the appropriate adjective to describe someone who has played many roles in life, then it fits Maya Angelou, the poet, memoirist, dancer, singer, actor, magazine editor, rape victim, single mother, civil rights activist, and one of America’s brightest lights, who died Wednesday at age 86.

Angelou first burst into this nation’s consciousness with the publication of her 1969 autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which described what it was like to grow up poor and female in the Jim Crow South of her youth.

She captivated a national audience in reciting her inspirational poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the 1993 swearing

-in of President Bill Clinton, which urged humankind to:

Lift up your hearts

Each new hour holds new chances

For new beginnings.

Angelou, who became a familiar face on film and television, will be missed. But the wisdom she presented in prose and poetry will forever be present.

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