Novelist, Poet, and Activist. In 1942 she became the first black San Francisco Streetcar Conductor. Civil rights activist, lecturer, and author wrote an autobiography, ""I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"". She has also written poetry and scripts for films and has acted in movies. On January 20, 1993, she read her poem, ""On the Pulse of Morning"" at William ""Bill"" Jefferson Clinton's 1993 Presidential Inauguration.