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Michelle Obama at Maya Angelou Memorial: ‘She Paved the Way’ for Black Women

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Maya Angelou‘s service this morning, and delivered a heartfelt speech about how much Angelou’s writings resonated with her as a young black girl. Obama said it was a “profound honor” to be able to “celebrate one of the greatest spirits our world has ever known.”

Obama praised “the affirming power of her words” and how Angelou “celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before.” She explained how “her words lifted me” and gave her strength throughout her life, even when her “very womanhood was dissected and questioned” on the campaign trail.

The first lady even recounted the first time she met Angelou face-to-face and how it made her feel.

“Maya Angelou knew us. She knew our hope, our pain, our ambition, our fear, our anger, our shame. And she assured us that despite it all, in fact, because of it all, we were good. And in doing so, she paved the way for me and Oprah and so many others just to be our good-old black woman selves.”

Watch the video below, via CNN:

[image via screengrab]

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