Maya Angelou was a poet, a civil rights activist, and wore many other hats. As a young single mother in the 1940s, she worked a plethora of jobs to make ends meet, including work as a freelance writer, which eventually led her to write her acclaimed autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969.
Maya did so many things with her life that it’s difficult to shorten the list. She cared deeply about equality among all people, and advocated strongly for the equality and fair treatment of black people in America. She wrote many heart wrenching, beautiful poems that express these notions. The poem below is of a perhaps less serious subject, but reflects greatly upon the life of a woman who gave so much of herself. Who exhausted herself in the pursuit of what was right.