"Marguerite Annie Johnson Angelou (April 4, 1928 to May 28, 2014), known as Maya Angelou, was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,* which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman."
*Click Caged Bird Sings to see Review
She used her skills to leave people feeling different because of what she wrote. Her writing approach has been sometimes labeled "autobiographical fiction" because it went beyond some traditional bounds. She wrote speaking often in the first person singular using the word "I" when what she meant was "we". This approach is also considered the "slave narrative tradition" and it is a way to buffer a claim intended to be meant for everyone not just the author. Similar to the oral tradition she followed in her poetry her message came in the more expressive language of the street or ghetto. Her autobiographies carried a message beyond just her life. She wanted to correct negative stereotype of black culture.
President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. The good news is you don’t have to be famous to leave people remembering how you made them feel. It happens whether you intended it or not. If you care about someone, they will know. If you don’t really care, they will know.
Her quotes were more than feel good platitudes but hard truths that you could feel.
“People will forget what you have said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."