“Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
– “On the Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou
On May 28, 2014, Renaissance woman and civil rights activist Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. She read one of her most famous poems, "On the Pulse of the Morning" at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993.
Angelou’s talent was not defined by just one medium. Throughout her life, she was a poet, novelist, dancer, playwright, actor and educator. She has written autobiographies, poems, children’s books, essays, plays and screenplays. Angelou has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama. In this lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra, students learn more about her extraordinary life.