Maya Angelou Mourned and Memorialized at Wake Forest Service

Maya Angelou speaks on race relations at Congregation B'nai Israel and Ebenezer Baptist Church on Jan. 16, 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Family, friends and famous admirers mourned the celebrated American author, poet, and activist Maya Angelou on Saturday during a memorial service at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where the writer had taught for decades.
President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey were among the many famous admirers who joined family and friends in the private event held at the University's Wait Chapel, as reported by the Associated Press. Angelou died at the age of 86 on May 28.

Obama spoke during the memorial service, saying Angelou changed her life when she was a kid.
"She celebrated black women's beauty like no one had ever dared to before. Our curves, our stride, our strength, our grace," Obama said. "Her words were clever and sassy. They were powerful and sexual and boastful."
Michelle Obama

Media members watch on a screen as First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a memorial service for poet and author Maya Angelou at Wait Chapel, at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on June 7, 2014.
Oprah Winfrey also spoke — and cried — during the memorial remembering Angelou, calling her her spiritual queen mother, and a vital part of her career.
"I cannot fill her shoes, but I can walk in her footsteps," Winfrey said.
Oprah Winfrey

Media members watch a screen as Oprah Winfrey speaks during the memorial service for poet and author Maya Angelouon Saturday, June 7, 2014.
Clinton said that Angelou's life was an inspiration for all women in America. Rising from poverty and segregation, Angelou became one of the most famous black writers of the 20th century, winning countless awards, and helping fight racism.
"We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a big piece of American history. And triumphed over adversity. And proved how dumb racism is," Clinton said.
Here are some other pictures from the ceremony, which included several gospel songs.

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