YONKERS, N.Y. -- After internationally acclaimed poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou died on Wednesday, May 28 at age 86, millions mourned her passing.
Angelou is the author of seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry over her career which ultimately spanned 50 years. She additionally received dozens of awards and more than 30 honorary doctoral degrees.
Angelou was very active in the Civil Rights movement, working with icons such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in the 1960's.
Her fame as a poet surged in 1993, when she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning," at President Bill Clinton's of Chappaqua's first inauguration.
Andrea Brown, president of Yonkers' NAACP Chapter 2188 said she was very sad to hear of Angelou's death.
"She was a great person. You can really gather that from her work and from her poetry," she said. "She was a great leader, educator and artist, along with an excellent author and will surely be missed by the world."
Brown said she hopes that Angelou's message will continue posthumously, inspiring young people never to give up their dreams.
"(Angelou) had a difficult upbringing, but she was able to become who she was after hard work. She had a number of different types of jobs, went to school at an older age, became a pro and never gave up," she said.
"She taught us that you don't let your circumstances and your background keep you from excelling. She had a difficult childhood, and she's a role model for everyone," she said.
Brown added that Angelou's legacy as a civil rights activist is particularly important to and treasured by the NAACP.
"We are civil rights organization, and that will always be our focus," she said.
What are some of your favorite poems by Maya Angelou, Yonkers? Let us know in the comments below.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.