Maya Angelou-English 124.docx - Life of Maya Angelou Maya...

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Life of Maya AngelouMaya Angelou is a well known African American figure in our country. From our childhood, we learn about her. For many of us, she is a role model. Her poems and autobiographies are read throughout United States and in many other parts of the world. In this paper, I will talk about Maya Angelou’s autobiographies, her poems and various struggles that she had to tackle during her lifetime. I will talk about her film and drama career and about her efforts in black liberation in Africa and United States.Maya Angelou was a famous African American poet, autobiographer, activist, and poet. She was born as Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri in April 4, 1928 (“Maya Angelou”, Encyclopedia Britannica). Angelou worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during civil rights’ movements in America during second half of 20th century. She was not only involved in literature and social change but was also involved in entertainment industry. Shewas a dancer, singer, composer, and actor, and she gained huge popularity for being first female African American film director. Angelou also was associated with academic field as she was a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University. For her significant achievements in her life, President Bill Clinton gave her National Medal of Arts in 2000, and President Barack Obama gave her Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. Likewise, Maya Angelou received more than fifty honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the world (“Maya Angelou”, Poetry Foundation).Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, but she lived with her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas for the most parts of her childhood (“Maya Angelou”, Encyclopedia Britannica). At the age of seven, Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. Her uncles murdered him for the troubles that he caused to her (“Maya Angelou”, Poetry
Foundation). These disturbing events affected Maya Angelou greatly. She didn't even speak for several years. In her autobiography entitled ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” which was published in 1969, she wrote about her difficult childhood (“Maya Angelou”, Encyclopedia Britannica). This book was a success, and Angelou was nominated for several awards for writing this book. When Angelou was twelve years old, an African American woman educator, Mrs.

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