The Legendary Author Maya Angelou

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“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” – Dr. Maya Angelou. This inspiring poet, novelist, historian, educator, actress, filmmaker, producer, memoirist, dramatist, and civil rights activist has had a superior impact on today’s American society. (A&M TV) Maya Angelou is an African American woman who went from poverty to international success. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson in Saint Louis, Arkansas to Vivian and Bailey Johnson. Her parents divorced when she was three years of age. Her and her brother, Bailey Jr., were sent to live with their grandmother in a small town called Stamps, Arkansas. Like many of the African American children that grew up in Maya’s time, she faced racial discrimination. She was always positive about it, because of the tradition old-fashion African American household she was raised in. She gives her grandmother and extended family in Stamps credit for all of the lessons and values she was taught that helped her significantly later in her adult life and while pursuing her career. Bailey and Maya were extremely close. He suffered from a bad stutter, so he could never correctly pronounce her name. He decided to call her “My” for my sister. After watching a video on the Mayan Indians, he then began to call her Maya. The name stuck. When Maya was seven years old, her and Bailey were sent to visit their mother in Chicago. Her mother’s boyfriend sexually molested her. She was too ashamed and embarrassed to inform any adults on what had happened to her, so she confided in her brother. (America Academy of Achievement) Maya’s uncle found out about what his sister’s boyfriend had done to his niece and killed her attacker. She felt that her words had killed the man, so she fell into a long phase of silence that lasted for five years. She often expressed her feelings through...
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