Very few people truly know the history of one of the most intriguing and inspiring woman this generation has ever seen. Maya Angelou was a poet, author, dancer, actress and singer. She was born as Marguerite Annie Johnson in the American state of St Louis Missouri on April 4 1928. They were only two siblings in her family, she being the youngest. Her father was a doorman and her mother was a nurse and card dealer. Maya’s life was fraught with many obstacles and tragedies that saw her become a strong and dominant force to be reckoned with in the field of the Arts. A child of a home where her parents divorced Maya was raped and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend at the age of eight, the man who raped her was jailed for a day and later murdered, presumably by Angelous Uncles.
Following this Angelou was mute for five years believing that her revelation of the man who abused her had led to his murder. It was during this silence that she developed her love for literature. Maya Angelou went on to become the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. At the age of seventeen Angelou gave birth to her first son, and she went on to defy cultural barriers and stereotypes by marrying a Greek man, the marriage subsequently ended . In the early years of her life Maya’s accomplishments included forming a dance team, she later danced and sang calypso music professionally in a club in San Francisco known as the Purple Onion and it is there that she became known as Maya Angelou , she toured Europe with an the opera known as Porgy and Bass and recorded her first album Miss Calypso from her success as a calypso performer, her literary work took off with her joining the Harlem Writers Guild.
Throughout her early years Angelou was associated with many famous people such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King both of whom were assassinated and whose deaths greatly affected her life. Maya aslo achieved great success in her writing, producing a ten part documentary series and writing the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which saw her gaining international recognition. Maya’s later years saw her continue to make astounding accomplishments in music, film and literature. Her second husband also credited her with being an excellent hostess and cook.
Maya Angelou died on the morning of May 28 2014, it is at this time that she had been working on an autobiography about her experiences with national and world leaders. The world was and still is devastated by a woman who changed the face of literature.
Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning",
at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, January 1993
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