SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Central New York will always have a special place in its heart for Maya Angelou. The famed author, poet and civil rights advocate passed away Wednesday inside her North Carolina home.
Angelou visited the region several times in recent years. In 2004, she was the keynote speaker at Syracuse University's Women's Leadership Program, and in 2008 she served as the speaker at Cornell University's commencement.
Angelou also took part in the Mohawk Valley Community College's cultural series.
The people she inspired said she was able to use her position to promote the importance of being a strong African American woman.
"And as a poet laureate she was able to spread the knowledge of what it meant to be a black woman in America. And to define that and give it a label, as far as what the pride and dignity and experiences that all come together to make us as black women in America," said Angela Williams, a librarian at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library.
Memorial Arrangements have not been announced yet.