6 Videos to Watch in Memory of Maya Angelou

The magic of Maya Angelou is not just the power of her words, but how beautifully she delivered them.

Maya Angelou smiles at an event in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 21, 2008.

Maya Angelou, poet and Renaissance woman, died on Wednesday at the age of 86. 

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The acclaimed writer Maya Angelou died at age 86, her family confirmed Wednesday. She was the author of the groundbreaking memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and six other autobiographical works as well as numerous poems and essays. She also played an active role in the Civil Rights movement, wrote screenplays and was nominated for a Tony for her performance on Broadway in “Look Away." Her words will surely continue to inspire generations to come, but not to be missed is how she beautifully delivered them – she won three Grammys for her spoken-word recordings – from her recitation of “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration to her appearances on “Sesame Street.”

Angelou is only the second poet in history to read one of her original works at a presidential inauguration. She recited “On the Pulse of Morning” at Clinton's 1993 swearing-in ceremony (the two shared an upbringing in rural Arkansas). She wrote the poem for the occasion, as it outlines the vision Clinton’s presidency (video courtesy of William J. Clinton Presidential Library).

Angelou’s 1969 autobiography was her breakthrough work, a critical and commercial success that examined her childhood and the adversity she faced in the Jim Crow South. In this clip, Angelou reads a portion from the award-winning memoir and discusses how she found her voice for it.

“Still I Rise,” the work inspiring the title of Angelou’s 1978 collection of poetry, is both a tale or personal triumph and a story of the African-American community's fight against racism.

When Arsenio Hall had Angelou on his late night show, she talked about living in a segregated America, meeting Martin Luther King Jr. and participating in the civil rights movement. She also had this pearl of wisdom to offer: “You have to be mad while you’re young. Later on it doesn’t look good on you.”

Angelou was also a frequent guest of Oprah Winfrey’s, in this clip appearing on OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday” last May. Listen to the advice Angelou treasures most, including this gem: “In order to get a friend, you have to be a friend.”

As Vulture pointed out, Angelou stopped by "Sesame Street" often. Watch her play a pattie cake game about the letter H with Herry Monster.