Remembering Maya Angelou - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Remembering Maya Angelou

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@danaRgriffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- U.S. Author and poet Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.

Her legacy is being honored by those who met her in Rhode Island.

"I am the dream and the hope of the slaves. I rise, I rise, I rise,” read civil rights activist, Onna Moniz-John.

Moniz–John remembers the time she met the prolific poet at Providence College. She said, "She laughed she sang, she danced, she cried. Her poetry was just something that you had to witness.

At UMass Dartmouth in 2004, Maya Angelou said, "Just imagine that I may light a path for somebody whose life may be better because I accept the responsibility of being a rainbow in the clouds."

During her visit, she spoke to 24-hundred at UMass Dartmouth, inspiring students to be role models.

"She lived out loud so that who she was, was right there and if you didn't like it, too bad," said Day One executive director, Peg Langhammer.

Langhammer was a liaison for Angelou during a 2010 visit to Providence where she spoke to 2,000 people at PPAC about her struggle with child sexual abuse.

"You know she testified at trial at the age of seven and then following that trial, the man who was the convicted rapist was stoned to death. And you know young Maya felt that she had caused his death by her voice and she didn't speak for years, and years. And so it was really once she regained her voice that she did so in such a powerful way and out of that just flowed all her writings, all her words, her speeches, her life."

Angelou's literary works have inspired others to rise, stand up for what's right.

Angelou, a Renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, died Wednesday morning at her home in Winston–Salem, North Carolina.

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