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Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most prominent and influential voices of our time. Maya was born on April 4th, 1928, under the name of Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents divorced when she was three. When she was eight, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. When she told her uncles what happened, they kicked him to death. Frightened by the power of her own voice, she chose not to speak for the next 5 years. She was constantly discriminated against for being African American. Her family raised her under steadfast faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. Maya’s love for the arts earned her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School.
At 14, she dropped out of school to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. Later on, she completed her high school career and gave birth to her son, Guy, two weeks after her graduation. To support her child, she began dancing in night clubs, cooking at a Creole cafe, removing paint at a dent and body shop, and serving as madam and sometime prostitute at a San Diego working girls establishment. She then moved back to Stamps where her brother became worried about Maya’s lifestyle. He helped her stay off of drugs and seek a legitimate job.
While clerking in a record shop at the age of twenty-two, Maya met and married Tosh Angel, who was a Greek American sailor and moved to Los Angeles. Her family and neighbors disapproved of their biracial marriage, causing it to last only a few years. She then fell back into night club dancing and was discovered by a few people who wanted to hire her for opportunities like Broadway. She played the role of Ruby in a 22-nation tour of "Porgy and Bess," and left Guy in a family friends care. Later she returned to her son and settled in a houseboat commune in Sausalito. Neighbors still rejecter her and her son for their skin color, forcing her to move to New York. She then started

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