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The life of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou receiving a medal; the Presidential Medal of freedom, from Barack Obama in 2011.

Early life

Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, on April 4th, 1928. Angelou was not only a poet, but an civil rights activist, author, songwriter, singer, performer, playwright, director, and a dancer. Her poetry reflects on personal life experiences that she has been through. In her younger years, she was sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend, which led her to spend many years in virtue mute. When spending those years in silence, she reflected on her passions, like her writing. Also, when she was younger she moved around a lot, because of her mom and dad’s divorce. Angelou at the age of 17, gave birth to a baby boy. When she gave birth that was an initiative to work harder and to accomplish more goals.

Angelou’s Achievements

Angelou was the first black woman to be a director in Hollywood, where she wrote, directed, and produced productions. Maya Angelou, worked with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, vividly during the civil rights movement. Angelou’s poetry portrays freedom and beauty of African Americans, the strength of women, and harmony between the body and spirit. Maya was constantly learning new material, as well as she working on her writing, dancing, singing, and teaching others around the community. In 2011, she had achieved a noteworthy accomplishment, from Barack Obama, which was titled the Presidential Medal of freedom. One of her most famous pieces of work, was “I know why the Caged bird Sings”, even though this was the hardest one for her to finish. For her final volume of her autobiography it took her about 15 years to finish it. Maya Angelou is an inspiration to the struggling artists, African Americans, women, and young people that have been through abusive situations.

Maya Angelou passed away on May 28th, 2014, in North Carolina. She was a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1982.


Created with images by York College ISLGP - "Maya Angelou visits YCP! 2/4/13"

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