Who Was Maya Angelou? by Ellen LabrecqueBorn in Missouri in 1928, Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood. Jim Crow laws segregated blacks and whites in the South. Her family life was unstable at times. But much like her poem, Still I Rise, Angelou was able to lift herself out of her situation and flourish. She moved to California and became the first black—and first female—streetcar operator before following her interest in dance. She became a professional performer in her twenties and toured the U.S. and Europe as an opera star and calypso dancer. But Angelous writing became her defining talent. Her poems and books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, brought her international acclaim.
Facts About Maya Angelou
Topics: Legendary Authors , Poetry , Music. Born in April 4, as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood. Her parents divorced when she was three, leaving Angelou to be raised by her grandmother. After testifying against him, her attacker was beaten to death in an alley, causing Angelou to believe her voice was too powerful. She decided to remain nearly mute for the next five years. During this time Angelou connected with the written word, paving the way for her future as a writer.
Rest in peace, Marguerite Johnson. Maya Angelou was born April 4 , , in St. Louis, Mo. Her actual birth name is Marguerite Johnson. She grew up in Stamps, Ark.
Today is the 90th birthday of Maya Angelou. Born on April 4 , she lived a number of fascinatingly different lives — as a singer, storyteller, activist, poet and sex worker. She died in , but her depictions of black lives, the power of the human spirit and the strength of women will always be remembered. Angelou had a very precise writing ritual. She would book a hotel room, strip the art from the walls and write pages a day on a yellow legal pad with a bottle of sherry and a pack of cards for company. In the evening she would edit her work down to pages, repeating this everyday until she was finished. Angelou spent five years in silence after her rapist was murdered by her uncle.