Missoulians Honor Legacy of Maya Angelou - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoulians Honor Legacy of Maya Angelou

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MISSOULA - Celebrated writer and activist Maya Angelou dies at the age of 86 in her North Carolina home.

Angelou was revered around the world for her powerful poetry and dedication to civil rights.

The words of Maya Angelou are some of the first Betsy Mulligan-Dague remembers reading.

"She talked about the abuse and the racism that she lived through as a young girl in the south," she said.

Mulligan-Dague, the Executive Director of the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, said at the time of its publication, Angelou's book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" told stories of Angelou's own experience with racism and rape-- stories simply not told back in 1969.

Mulligan-Dague added, "And she courageously did tell them and did so in a way that was more about healing than it was about blaming or shaming, and I think that's just a tremendous role model for all of us."

Angelou joined Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight during the Civil Rights Movement. Her writing has won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and she's won three Grammies.

Mulligan-Dague said Angelou used her voice and talents to the best of her ability.

"And used them in ways I think all of us will remember and hold dear," she said.

Mulligan-Dague said she'll remember Angelou as a courageous woman whose work will have a lasting impact on the world.

"It actually brings me a lot of hope in the world that we are so inspired by people like Maya Angelou."

President Obama presented Angelou with The Presidential Medal of Freedom" in 2011.

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