Tika Sumpter reacts to Maya Angelou death: 'She inspired my life'

theGRIO VIDEO - Actress Tika Sumpter reacts to the news of Maya Angelou's passing. Sumpter says Maya Angelou 'inspired her life'...

Actress Tika Sumpter reprises her role as Candace Young in Oprah Winfrey Network’s prime-time soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots.

During an interview with theGrio.com’s Chris Witherspoon, Sumpter talked about her TV role but also reflected on the impact Dr. Angelou had on her career. The news of Angelou’s passing broke shortly before the interview.

“She’s empowered so many women through her writing, through her struggle, through her story,” Sumpter said. “As a young girl being raped and still finding hope and using her words to empower other people and her passion to ignite other people’s dreams. We say her quotes all of the time, and sometimes I think people don’t even know it’s her.”

Sumpter continued:

“She has infiltrated all facets of life. Whether you’re black or white. It wasn’t a black or white thing for her, I feel like it’s a people thing, and she got it. She inspired my life.”

The Haves and the Have Nots premiered on OWN earlier this week.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC