Author, poet, performer, and global role model Maya Angelou passed away Wednesday morning in her home in North Carolina. Her death has inspired a number of commemorative hashtags on Twitter, including the particularly touching #MayaTaughtMe. Angelou taught us all a lot. She went through hardship in her early life, including rape at the hands of her mother's boyfriend, a short stint as a prostitute, and many years as a single mother — all experiences she powerfully wrote about.
Angelou was best known for her inspirational autobiographies and poetry, in which she examines her life as a black woman in the Jim Crowe South. In 2011, President Obama awarded her the highest civilian accolade, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Angelou, who taught at several colleges, didn't attend college herself. She once said of her education, "I created myself. I taught myself so much." Still, in a mark of respect, Angelou was called "Dr. Angelou" by many; her works, which highlight issues of racism and sexism in America, are widely read in American schools.
There is no doubt that Angelou was a trailblazer: the first black female streetcar conductor, the first black woman to have a screenplay produced as a film, the first black woman to become part of the Directors Guild, and the first woman to read a poem at a presidential inauguration. She was woman who broke many barriers, and now she is being commemorated by the many people who she inspired and whose lives she touched. Let's look at some of the most touching #MayaTaughtMe tweets...