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Running head: MAYA ANGELOU 1 Maya Angelou Kala Penn Professor
MAYA ANGELOU 2 Maya Angelou born Marguerite Johnson on April 4 th 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri was a an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. At the advance age of 86 year she died on May 28 th 2014 in North Carolina of heart problems. Leaving behind her legacy and a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. She was praised by people who knew her personally as a good hearted soul and a woman that pushed for education, equality and justice. Before becoming an influential iconic poet, writer and civil rights activist who collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights movement she lived and undergone hardships, but had not let it destroy her, she prevailed. Angelou’s most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), covers her childhood (Poetry Foundation, 2018). At the tender age of 3 years old her parents divorced, Bailey Johnson and Vivian Baxter Johnson who weren’t the best parents in the world, sent her and her brother to Arkansas to live with their Grandmother Annie Henderson. Her grandma, who owned a general store groomed and help her develop self-pride and confidence for 4 years. While living in Arkansas she experienced firsthand racial discrimination and prejudice. At the age of seven years old moving back with her mother in Missouri, she suffered at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend who sexual molested her. Because of her close relationship with her brother she confided in him, who then told the rest of the family. The man was found guilty and sentenced for a day in prison. Days after his release she overheard the news that he was killed probably by her uncles, she believed that she had caused the man's death by speaking his name, she became mute for almost five years only talking to her brother. As she stated, "I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name and

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