1993: Maya Angelou Is 'World News' 'Person of the Week'

The author was honored after reading her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" at Bill Clinton's inauguration.
4:30 | 05/29/14

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Transcript for 1993: Maya Angelou Is 'World News' 'Person of the Week'
The day before yesterday this woman was given an uncommon opportunity to have an influence on a vast audience of people. And to paraphrase her message then she certainly seized the moment. I really tried to get into the contents of the -- And then I suspend myself. You see as not that I suspend though there's been even believe I suspend my found. Across the wall of the world -- of those things the views of those songs. It says come from rest he had -- sack him. Maya -- remove the made it clear that Bill Clinton's inauguration would be different no poet had been engaged for such an occasion in 32 years. And very few poets have ever engaged such an audience as -- -- -- -- -- the most of them the friend and a Greek that iris the rabbi the priest they seek. They gave me this straight the freaked out the privileged the homeless but -- they -- hit the speaking of -- three. I wanted to say that. Despite our differences and Thailand's shapes and sizes and -- lives and and that even impostors. That we MI lies -- -- -- last. I it's time. And I saw stand -- German law. My own -- has sung and danced acted and talked written and recited. For forty years. I speak to the black experience she says but I am always talking about the human condition someone who doesn't know. -- before you. Frightened before you humiliated. Before unique elected before you -- and before you -- before you. And yet someone has the vast. My -- it. In her autobiography. I know why the caged bird sings. On Jolo describes life growing up in the segregated south stamps Arkansas is not far from hope. From whence comes the president. She went back for the first time as an adult. I was terribly -- attendance. -- -- -- -- -- We know now that -- was raised by her grandmother and uncle in the back of the store the only black store in stamps. She was raped when she was seven. For five. And a half years I refuse to speak. I had voice but I refuse to use it instead she developed her imagination. -- my favorite. Pleased to be. And known and -- them on names it looked like and I'm open to present from a strained. Opening the front dollars was pulling the -- off the unexpected gift. So that I have. -- -- -- -- I decided -- -- Bush's speech from the merchant of Venice. In the CME tears that's right. It was -- -- knock them off those few. As she did this week from the steps of the nation's capital. Lift up faces. You have a piercing need for this bright morning dawning for you. Mr. ray despite its wrenching pain cannot be -- lived. But if faced with courage need not be lived again. We have a history -- -- isn't -- did with crew is safe and with the glory. And we have to seize that. If they don't admit that -- -- no chance of billing of tomorrow for a flat Simpson. And -- she urged the new president and the new faces in the crowd at the scene and the unseen in. And seize the moment. -- on the part of this new day you may have the grace to look up and out and -- justice design. And the answer your brother's face. Your country. And -- simply. Very simply. With hope. Good morning. And so we choose Mya on -- -- It isn't often the case that an American poet get such a public opportunity the performance quite different in some other countries in Russia for example it is not uncommon for 20000 people to show up. Just to hear -- poet. This week at least -- -- -- was heard by millions.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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