Maya Angelou was a powerful influence in my life. I discovered her when I took an African-American literature class in college. We read, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and her ability to be so eloquent and beautiful; yet, so blunt and real, combined with her unparalleled writing ability, really spoke to me.

Growing up as a lower middle class white ‘bro’ from the Northwest, I’m not sure I’m the demographic that is most associated with her fans, which I think speaks volumes about her talent, appeal and ability to motivate. Since the class, I’ve read most of her incredible work. In more recent years, she has served as one of my chief sources of inspiration for posts, blogs and motivating myself and others.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that there have been more than a few rough days when a Maya Angelou quote, book or appearance was just the thing I needed to make it through. She is certainly missed, but absolutely never forgotten for several reasons, including always reminding myself and everyone else that we are good enough.

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