Maya Angelou


Emma Yeager

Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis Missouri. She grew up with a difficult childhood when her parents split, but she grew up to be an America poet and a very important civil rights activist. Maya Angelou was no strange to receiving awards for her outstanding writing abilities and used her words to capture readers into her stories and poems. When growing up as an African American during that time period, Angelou experienced harsh racism and was targeted at school and wherever she went. Maya moved to San Francisco during World War II, there she won a scholarship to study acting at the California Labor School. In the 1950s Angelou’s preforming career really started taking off. She ended up winning a Tony nomination in her role in the play Look Away. She also spent much time traveling to different countries. In Ghana she joined a group called “Revolutionist Returnees” where she then got closer with civil rights activist Malcom X. When Angelou came back to America after her travels, she began to help Malcom X create an organization called Afro-American Unity. Maya Angelou was well known by her poetry, but her 1971 collection of poetry was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Angelou was also given the opportunity to read aloud one of her famous poems at Bill Clintons inauguration which she had wrote the poem especially for in 1993. She then went on to win a Grammy for best spoken word album for an audio version of her poem. Throughout her life, Maya Angelou became close with many impactful people like Martin Luther King Jr. Her dear friend ended up getting assassinated on her birthday April 4th, 1968. It is said that Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for year after and would send flowers to Coretta Scott King for more than 30 years on that day. During her life, it is said that she was rumored to have been married 3 times. Angelou had one son who she gave birth to when she was a young 16 years old. He son was named Guy, and after his birth Angelou worked numerous jobs to help support her and her son. The father was not in the picture as it was just a high school relationship that ended in unintentional circumstances. After dealing with some health struggles as she reached old age, Maya Angelou died on May 28th, 2014. Her death continued to show how many people she moved with her work, as many took to social media to share their favorites of her work by quoting her poems. Many influential people also took to social media by sharing their condolences. During Maya Angelou’s life she took on many roles that influenced peoples, she was a writer, poet, filmmaker, actor, dancer, civil rights activist, and a mother. Angelou spent her life fighting for what she believed in and what she wanted to achieve, she was the first African American and the first women to read aloud at a presidential Inauguration. She also helped many important civil rights activists in their journey to make all men equal.