Maya Angelou - Parnell 1 Madison Parnell May 3 2019 John...

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Parnell 1Madison ParnellMay 3, 2019John MuellerEnglish 11Maya AngelouMarguerite Annie Johnson Angelou, known as Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She was an American poet, memoirist, and actress. She is known best for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In all, she has published about sixty-six books. She has received multiple awards and honors for her work throughout her career, including two NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards.Angelou had an arduous childhood. As a kid, her parents split up and she and her brotherwere sent to live with their grandma in Stamps, Arkansas. While there, she experienced racial discriminations. When Maya was seven years old, during a visit, her mother’s boyfriends raped her. When Angelou’s uncle found out via Maya, he killed the boyfriend. Maya was left traumatized by the event, so she stopped talking in all. She spent years as a mute because she thought her voice got someone killed. Lucinda Moore interviewed Maya in 2003 and asked howit was spending years as a mute and this is how she responded:Oh, yes, I memorized poetry. I would test myself, memorizing a conversation that went by when I wasn’t in it. I memorized 60 Shakespearean sonnets. And some of the things I memorized, I’d never heard them spoken, so I memorized them according to the cadence that I heard in my head. I loved Edgar Allan Poe and I memorized everything I could find. And I loved Paul Laurence Dunbar—
Parnell 2still do—so I would memorize 75 poems. It was like putting a CD on. If I wantedto, I’d just run through my memory and think, that’s one I want to hear. So I believe that my brain reconstructed itself during those years. I believe that the areas in the brain which provide and promote physical speech had nothing to do. I believe that the synapses of the brain, instead of just going from A to B, since Bwasn’t receptive, the synapses went from Ato R. You see what I mean? And so, I’ve been able to develop a memory quite unusual, which has allowed me to learn languages, really quite a few. I seem to be able to direct the brain; I can say,do that. I say, remember this, remember that. And it’s caught! [She snaps her fingers as if to emphasize “caught.”] (Growing Up Maya Angelou. 2003.)During World War II, Maya and her family moved to San Francisco, California. There,

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