Poet And Activist Maya Angelou Dies At 86

Venerable poet and author Maya Angelou has died. She was found unresponsive in her North Carolina home, just days after citing health problems when canceling an appearance at an honorary ceremony. Her impact on American culture, particularly in the African-American community, has been lauded by the literary, political, and celebrity communities alike. Our Gossip Table panelists honored her life as the news of her death broke this morning.

Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson in 1928, began her career in show business. She performed in nightclubs and also studied dance with legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey. She also appeared in theater productions alongside James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson. She also wrote scripts for film and television.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, one of Angelou’s most famous literary works, issued in a new era of autobiographical writing. The memoir came during the the civil rights movement and detailed various aspects of Angelou’s youth. Her painful past was chronicled in the book and enabled her to become a resounding cultural voice. She went on publish many more titles of poetry and prose.

While you may not be able to re-read Maya Angelou’s poetry this morning, take a look at our gallery of her most inspiring and thoughtful tweets.

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[Photo Credit: Getty Images]