Maya Angelou Biography

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Kara Francois
13 April 2012

Marguerite Annie Johnson was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 4th of April in 1928. Maya Angelou is a nickname that was given to her as a young child from her brother Bailey. He called her "Maya" instead of "my sister.” At the age of three Ms. Angelou’s parents divorced. Her and her brother Bailey was sent to a Stamps, Arkansas to live with their grandmother. While living in Stamps, as a young girl she experienced racial discrimination. During the time Maya Angelou was living in the south she absorbed the deep religious faith and old-fashioned courtesy of traditional African Americans. When Maya Angelou was seven she was sexually molested by her mother's boyfriend in Chicago. After telling her brother about the attack a few days later, she overheard the news that her attacker had suffered a violent death. When Ms. Angelou heard that her uncle had killed the man that raped her, she felt that her words had killed the man. Even at this young age she was convinced that words could be powerful. Maya Angelou fell silent and did not speak for five years. Maya and her brother were rejoined with their mother in San Francisco when Maya was 13 years of age, It was with poetry that she finally found her voice again. Ms. Angelou won a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco's Labor School while attending Mission High School. She dropped out of school in her teens to become San Francisco's first African American female cable car conductor. Later she then returned to high school. At the age of sixteen she gave birth to her son Guy. Maya Angelou was a single mother and supported her family by working as a waiter and a cook. The first book Ms. Angelou wrote was, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, it deals with growing up in this segregated town. This book is still considered controversial by many and was banned by many schools when it was originally published. It mostly deals with sex, racism and many mature issues. The second...
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