Moneta Sleet, Jr./ Ebony Collection/AP
05/28/2014 at 01:00 PM EDT
Beloved author and activist Maya Angelou
, who died on Wednesday
at the age of 86, wrote six autobiographies, three books of essays and several collections of poetry.
These five works are among her most notable:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Written in 1969, Angelou's award-winning memoir describes her encounters with racism and relives her experience of being raped when she was 8 years old.
A Song Flung Up to Heaven
In her sixth memoir, published in 2002, she describes her friendships with civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and the impact of their assassinations.
Letter to My Daughter
Although Angelou's only child was a son, Guy, her 2009 collection of essays was written for the countless women who saw her as a mother figure.
Still I Rise
This inspirational poem
about feminism, confidence and pride was included in her 1978 collection of the same name.
On the Pulse of the Morning
Angelou read her original poem
at President Bill Clinton
's swearing-in ceremony on January 20, 1993. The following year, her audio recording of the poem won a Grammy award for best spoken word.