Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis Missouri but her parents divorced when she was 3, so she went to go live with her grandmother. When she was 8, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend, and became a silent mute for five years.
Maya soon went back to live with her mother in San Francisco after she was raped when she graduated at the top of her eighth grade class. She attended George Washington High School and soon learned that she would struggle with the better educated white students. She would be one of the only 3 black students to attend.
Maya had a very strained relationship with her family. Her grandmother and mother had a reputation of being hardcore women. Maya's dad was hardly in her and her brothers life.
At the age of 16, Maya had her first and only child, Guy. As a young women, Maya was married 2 times between 1951-1981. She had a relationship with an African Freedom Fighter in 1961, but never officially married him. While with the freedom fighter, she taught at the University of Ghana in Africa as a music and dance teacher. She was also part of the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 60's.
Over a span of 65 years she accomplished many great things. She soon became a literary icon and a inspiration to many people over the globe. Some of her most famous works like "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "On the Pulse of Morning" which was recited at Bill Clinton's inaugural ceremony, gave her a lot of popularity. She appeared in many movies like Alex Haley's "Roots", Tyler Perry's "Medea's Family Reunion", and many other productions.
Before her death, Maya was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former president, Barack Obama. Maya died on May 28, 2014 at her home in North Carolina at age 86. Maya Angelou was the first black women director who wrote, filmed, produced, directed, and starred in productions for stage,film, and television.