The moment Maya Angelou heard the baby cry, she was compelled to do the same. What poor 16-year-old single mother wouldn’t? Yet mingled with her desperation were the persistence, hope, and drive that would mark her path to eventual greatness.

Maya Angelou would become the first bestselling African-American author (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), one of the most popular living poets of our time, an Emmy Award-winning actress and producer, a university professor, a mentor to Oprah Winfrey, a civil rights activist and Martin Luther King’s protégé, and the first African-American woman admitted to the ...

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