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Maya Angelou’s North Texas Legacy

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Maya Angelou inspired millions of people in her 86 years on Earth.

The loss of the poet, author, teacher and civil rights champion is being felt around the world and in North Texas.

Angelou, who made two visits to the University of North Texas and received an honorary degree from the institution, leaves behind a legacy Dallas high school that bears her name.

The alternative school for pregnant 5th through 12th grade girls was renamed after Angelou in 2005, who herself was a teen mother.

Dr. Cheryl Davis Humphrey is the principal of Maya Angelou High School, and says Angelou was thrilled with the honor.

“She said this is great, this is a special honor,” said Humphrey. “She knew it would help them achieve and give them hope.”

Angelou also visited the University of North Texas in 2006 and in 2004 as part of UNT’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first African-American students enrolling at the Denton university.

The writer, dancer, actress, and educator–received an honorary degree that day.

The founder and president of “The Black Academy of Arts and Letters,” Curtis King met Maya Angelou many times in his life and hosted her in Dallas on several occasions.

“I remember her because Maya Angelou could sing. She would do her portrait and sing, she had this powerful voice,” said King.

Angelou died in her North Carolina home.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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