Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou is one of the most famous African-American women figures. As well as an inspiring figure as a poet, Maya is also well known to have been a great actress, educator, historian, author, playwright, director and producer. At the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya was also inspired to become involved in the civil rights movement. Maya Angelou's former name was Marguerite Ann Johnson. Maya got the nickname from her older brother bailey, which had a speech issue and couldn't pronounce Marguerite. He started calling her Maya because he read a book on Mayan Indians, and the name stuck. Maya grew up in the south during a very racist period and the traditional African-American life. She had a hard young life, and after living with her grandmother for a few years, which her and her brother would call "momma", Maya and her brother Bailey went to live with their mother in St. Louis, Missouri. When Maya Angelou was a young woman, she carried with her a secret conviction that she wouldn't live past the age of 28. Raped by her mother's boyfriend at 8, she didn't feel strong enough to confess to the adults in her life, and confided in her brother. After she learned that her uncle had killed the man who molested her, Maya felt responsible and was speechless for five years. At age 13, Maya moved back to her mother who lived in San Francisco. Maya's passion of music and drama as a teenager, earned her a scholarship to study at San Francisco's Labor School. Maya goes through her education and dropped out at age 14 to become San Francisco's first African-American cable car conductor. Two years later, Maya goes back to school and during her senior year, she started to question her sexuality after reading a book about lesbians. And enjoying watching a female friend take off her shirt, she asked a fellow classmate if he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her to ensure herself that she did in fact enjoy men. After they made love, and still...
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