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First lady, Bill Clinton herald Maya Angelou as force in history

Published on Jun 8, 2014 7:19 AM

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (REUTERS) – First lady Michelle Obama remembered poet, author and civil rights champion Maya Angelou on Saturday as a dominant cultural force who taught black women and people of all races to celebrate their own worth and beauty.

Mrs Obama credited the writer’s works, including her pioneering 1969 autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, with helping carry a young black girl from the South Side of Chicago to the White House.

"She celebrated black women’s beauty like no one ever had before," Mrs Obama said to more than 2,000 people at Angelou’s private memorial service in North Carolina.

"She told us our worth had nothing to do with what the world might say."

A picture of Dr. Maya Angelou is placed in front of Angelou's home in Harlem in New York City on May 31, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
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