Maya Angelou

Topics: Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston-Salem, North Carolina Pages: 2 (540 words) Published: November 17, 2013


Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renounced and influential voices of our time. She played a big part in the global Renaissance and is a poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Dr. Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4th, 1928. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and she and her brother, Bailey were sent to live with her grandmother, Annie Henderson for most of her teenaged years. Maya Angelou spent her childhood in California, Arkansas, and St. Louis.

While living in Stamps, Arkansas with her grandmother. Maya experienced a lot of racial discrimination, but also gained many traditional values, which she gives credit to her grandmother for instilling her with the values that helped her later in life with her career. When Maya was seven years old she visited her mother in Chicago, she was raped by her mothers boyfriend, and refused to tell anyone but her brother Bailey whom she was very close with. She later on found out that her uncle had killed the man who raped her. Maya believed that if she never confided in her brother the man would have survived, which resulted in her becoming a mute for five years. Maya began to speak again when she was thirteen years old.

When Maya was fourteen years old she became San Francisco's first black female cable car conductor. In 1952 Maya married a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelouplos. She later took the professional name Maya Angelou, which combines her childhood nickname with a form of her husbands name. In later years she became the first black woman screen writer and director in Hollywood. In the 60's she was a good friend to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She served in the SCLC with MLK, and worked for years as a civil rights activist. Also, in the 60's she worked and traveled to Africa as a journalist and teacher, and helped...

References: Maya Angelou Biography -- Academy of Achievement. (n.d.). Academy of Achievement Main Menu.
Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/ang0bi
Maya Angelou - Biography. (n.d.). Maya Angelou - The Official Website. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://mayaangelou.com/bio/
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