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"Troubles are a blessing that force you to change, to believe." ~ Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

A true blessing, poet Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was born Marguerite Johnson on this day in St. Louis.

Growing up poor and black during the Depression, Angelou transformed her tragic childhood into vibrant, inspirational writing. She created purposeful writing. Intimate. Grabbing life's lessons with words.

"If you find it in your heart to care for someone else," she said, "you have succeeded."

An eloquent orator, she mesmerized the world when she recited her poem On the Pulse of Morning at Bill Clinton's 1993 Presidential Inauguration. Her passionate autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) detailed her extraordinary life in which she proclaimed: "Life loves the liver of it."

A writer, performer, Hollywood's first African American woman director, professor, and civil rights activist, she dedicated her life to empowering positive change and a productive future for young people.

"Ask for what you want," she proposed. "And be prepared to get it."

A mentor and inspiration to many, Angelou's body of work is powerful, capturing emotions and thoughts with passion.

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart," she said.

More MAYA ANGELOU Quotations

AngelouThere are blessings in everything.