A popular African proverb reads, "An elder who dies is like a library that burns."

When Maya Angelou passed in 2014, it marked a significant loss for the Black community. A woman who used the power of her words to advocate for civil rights, fight for women's rights and help readers believe in a better life, Angelou's work will be studied and beloved for generations to come. 

While countless poems, several autobiographies and even more lectures will eternally honor her legacy, the following five poems were powerful and symbolic in their own regard. Either published during monumental moments in history or personal revelations from Angelou herself, these compositions are a reminder that despite setbacks, you can always prevail.