Maya Angelou was an influential poet and writer. She was born in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Arkansas. Maya Angelou’s poetry often focuses on the topics of love, family, and identity. She has also written about her personal experiences as a black woman in America. Maya Angelou passed away in 2014, but her work continues to inspire people all over the world.
Maya Angelou paved the road for many of today’s African poets. She is recognized for her poems and autobiographies, which are divided into several volumes. Angelou has had a compelling life full of accomplishments and experiences.
She was the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, the first woman to read her work at a presidential inauguration, and she even worked with Martin Luther King Jr.
Maya Angelou’s writing style is unique and easy to read. She writes about her life experiences in a way that is both candid and poetic. Her poetry often reflects on themes of race, identity, and family.
Maya Angelou is an important figure in American literature. She has inspired many with her words and her story. Her work continues to be relevant today. Maya Angelou is a significant voice in the black community and in American society as a whole.
Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri (Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd Ed.), experienced a tragic childhood. When she was only 3 years old, her parents divorced and she was forced to live with her mother. Unfortunately for Maya (Shaw, Taylor), at the age of 8 Mr. Freeman – her mother’s boyfriend – raped her. Helpless and alone, Angelou hid her bloodstained underwear under the couch where eventually her mother found it… And discovered that her young daughter had been raped by someone she trusted implicitly.( Shaw)
Mr. Freeman was later found dead, most likely murdered by Maya’s uncles. This experience left Maya feeling guilty and full of shame, she felt it was her fault that Mr. Freeman died. (Angelou, Maya) Angelou became mute for five years, she spoke her first words after hearing a preacher say “I know why the caged bird sings!” Maya knew she could sing and that was her way of freeing herself from the cage she felt she was in.
Angelou attended George Washington High School, then later San Francisco City College. After working as a journalist in Cairo and Ghana, she returned to the US in 1961 and began working on the play The Blacks, which won an Obie Award in 1962. (Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd Ed.) Angelou wrote several autobiographies, books of essays, and poems; she was also active as a civil rights worker. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her to read a poem at his inauguration, making her the first poet to read at a presidential inauguration since Robert Frost in 1961. (Shaw, Taylor)
Maya Angelou was one of the most famous African-American women figures of her time. Not only was she an inspiring poet, but she was also a great actress, educator, historian, author, playwright, director and producer. During the civil rights movement era, Maya Angelou became inspired to get involved in the movement after watching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches. Her former name was Marguerite Ann Johnson.
Maya was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Maya’s parents were Bailey Johnson, a doorman and Maya’s mother Vivian Baxter Johnson, a nurse and card dealer. Maya Angelou had an older brother called Bailey Jr., who she would refer to as Brother in her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya did not have much of a childhood due to the fact that when she was only eight years old, her parents divorced and she was sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas.
Her name came from her older brother, bailey, who had a speech problem and was unable to say Marguerite. He began calling her Maya because he read about the Mayan Indians in a book, and the name stuck. Maya grew up in the south during a time when racism was widespread. Life as an African American child was difficult; she faced abuse at home and experienced prejudice in school. She had a difficult youth before moving with her grandmother to St Louis, Missouri, where they were known as “mommy.”
Maya was raped by her mother’s boyfriend at the age of eight, and because she told bailey, he beat the man to near death. Maya stopped talking for almost five years after that. Maya later moved to San Francisco with her brother, where she worked as a waitress and began writing poetry. It was during this time that Maya met Malcolm X, and he encouraged her to use her writing to help empower African Americans. Maya wrote several books of poetry, as well as an autobiography, which was made into a film in 1985 starring Oprah Winfrey.
Just before high school graduation, Angelou started to question her femininity. She was less curvy than most other 16 year-old girls and thought she might be a lesbian. To prove herself wrong, she seduced her neighbor boy and got pregnant. After giving birth to a son, Guy Bailey Johnson, she took him with her when moved to San Francisco. (Ball, Jane)
Maya’s son became her reason for living. Maya had to do something with her life to make a better future for him. So she got a job as a streetcar conductor.(Angelou, Maya)
Maya Angelou was an excellent role model to African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. She grew up in the Jim Crow South, but managed to overcome all the odds against her. Maya is best known for her poems and novels, but she has also worked as an actress, singer, dancer, and film director. (Maya Angelou Biography)
When Maya was only three, her parents divorced and she and her brother, Bailey Johnson Jr., were sent to live with their grandmother in rural Arkansas. (Maya Angelou Biography) Maya did not have an easy childhood. She was subjected to racism and sexism. Despite all the odds against her, Maya managed to become a successful poet, author, and Civil Rights activist.
Maya Angelou is one of the most important authors of our time. Her books are required reading in many high schools and colleges across the country. Maya has inspired generations of readers with her words. If you have never read any of her work, I highly recommend that you do. You will not be disappointed.