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Phyllis Diller
Maya Angelou, who vividly detailed the black experience, dies at 86
Maya Angelou, who vividly detailed the black experience, dies at 86

Maya Angelou was a diva of American culture: an actress, singer, dancer and film director as well as an essayist and Pulitzer-Prize-nominated poet, whose mainstream magnetism led her to write verses for Hallmark and recite one of her poems at the 1993 inauguration of President Clinton. Her most celebrated achievement, however, were the stories she told about herself in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969), the first in a series of bestselling memoirs. Universal in its themes yet compellingly particular in its details about being a black girl in a white world, it is a story of survival that exposed the ugliness as well as the beauty in a prodigiously inventive life. A staple...

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