As Ariana Gilmore, 13, recited Dr. Maya Angelou's poem Phenomenal Woman, she could only hope that one day she would be an inspiration to others like Angelou is to her.
Ariana and other students learn about Angelou's works and other poets at the Maya Angelou Teen Center located inside the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA in southwest Atlanta.
Ambassador Andrew Young was a close friend of Angelou.
"We go over to the YMCA and I hear kids 10 and 12 years old reciting Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise," said Young. "She made an impact on the world that few people make."
Young said he was told by Angelou's family that she died in her sleep. He was with her last month when she celebrated her 86th birthday.
"She was finding it harder and harder to speak without oxygen. She just sort of slept away," said Young.
Dr. Joseph Lowery remembers Angelou as being very poetic a woman whose chose her words carefully.
"Maya was a beautiful person, very gifted and brought a lot of joy and understanding to people," said Lowery. "One of her gifts was the capacity to unravel the deep mysteries of life and put them in plain poetic terms for everybody to understand."
By all accounts Angelou was a phenomenal woman who left a legacy of words for all to remember in poems like Still I Rise.
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