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Google Doodle celebrates Maya Angelou

Wednesday's Google Doodle celebrates the life of author and poet Maya Angelou on what would have been her 90th birthday. Angelou died in May 2014 at the age of 86. The world-famous author wrote seven autobiographical works and several books of poetry and was the winner of three Grammy awards. She also directed and produced movies.

Angelou grew up in Stamps, Arkansas, and had a difficult childhood. When she was 8, her mother's boyfriend raped her. Days after she identified him, her rapist was murdered. She became mute for several years and blamed herself for his murder. 

"I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name," she said. During this period of her life, Angelou became an avid reader.

The Google Doodle opens with Angelou's voice reciting her poem, "Still I Rise." Then, artists Alicia Keys, America Ferrera, Martina McBride, Angelou's son Guy Johnson, Laverne Cox and Oprah Winfrey take turns reading lines from the poem as the video shows illustrations of Angelou at different stages of her life. 

Angelou's most famous work, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," was a memoir of her life to age 17, the age that she dropped out of high school to take care of her son as a single mother. 

Later, she connected with Malcolm X and became a prominent civil rights activist in the 1960s. 

Angelou, who became a Wake Forest University professor, was passionate about teaching. 

She said, "I realize that if I had taught before I had written a book I might never have written a book. I love to teach. I am a teacher."

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