Maya Angelou Biography

951 WordsJan 14, 20134 Pages
Maya Angelou Biography Maya Angelou is an amazing American author, poet, entertainer, actress, playwright, producer and director, historian and civil rights activist. She is best known for her portrayals of strong African American women. Born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Maya Angelou's given name was Marguerite Johnson, Maya and her brother Bailey spent most of their childhood living with their grandmother in rural Arkansas. Maya grew up in Stamps and learned what it was like to be a black girl in a world whose boundaries were set by whites. After five years of living with her grandmother she moved back to her mother's home in Missouri. This was a bad turn for her, when her mothers' boyfriend raped her. This violent act…show more content…
She tells us her thoughts on a wide variety of subjects. From this book I read a short story called Aging, Maya talked about growing old and not being able to see her son reach puberty. She also talked about her body changing, her eating habits changing and just becoming old and reaching her deathbed. Maya also has a movie based on her first novel I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing. This is about a young black girl growing in stamps, Arkansas during the depression. Her efforts to better herself run up the stonewall of racism; in addition, she is traumatized into silence due to a brutal rape by her mothers boyfriend. Slowly and with the loving support of her mother, Maya overcomes her many deprivations and by the time she is a high school senior, she is her class valedictorian. Today, she lectures in the United States and overseas. She is also a Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Through her writing as well as her activism toward the cause of improving conditions for women in Third World countries (particularly Africa), Angelou continues to spread light on the possibilities for victory that can accompany seeming defeat. In a 1987 interview, she urged her students to read, especially African-American literature, saying that it reinforces to us that what has come before us has survived and produced. Maya stressed to her students that this knowing lifts the spirit, and finished by
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