Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri (poets.org). Maya Angelou later changed her name to promote her writing. Maya- represents the childhood name her brother Bailey gave her and Angelou is a variation of her married last name. At the age of three her parents sent her and her younger brother Bailey to live with their paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. When she was seven years old she moved to Chicago to live with her mother and encountered one of the most traumatic experiences of her life. When Maya was eight years old she was sexually assaulted and the man that assaulted her was murdered. This leads to a four-year period of Maya only speaking to her brother Bailey. After the attack Bailey moved back to Stamps, Arkansas. In 1940, Maya moved to California to live with her mother. She drops out of high school three years later to become to first black cable conductor in San Francisco. A year later she goes back to school, graduates and later gives birth to her son guy. When Maya Angelou started her autobiographical series in 1970 with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she naturally chose her childhood as the organizing principle of her first volume (Carol E. Neubauer). Angelou's career started as a singer at the Purple Onion Club, in San Francisco. She later began to write lyrics that turned into poetry, and short stories. She then moved to New York to join the Harlem Writers Guild. In 1960, she becomes the Northeaster Regional Coordinator for Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Appears in off-Broadway play, "The Blacks", produced as a benefit for the SCLC. She marries her second husband, South African freedom fighter Vusumi Make, and moves to Africa with he and her son Guy in 1962. While in Africa, she becomes an associate editor for Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt and serves as assistant administrator at the School of Music and Drama, University of Ghana. (Harold Bloom) Maya Angelou...
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