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Maya Angelou: Life, Biography, And Stories About The Literary Titan

 

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, Maya Angelou was a titan of the American literary world. An expert in prose, poetry, and academic writing, she exemplifies modern storytelling in excellent fiction, while also providing her audience with a historical account of what it was like to be a young black girl in the early 1900s.

As a teenager, Angelo showed his tenacity when he applied to become a streetcar driver. Although initially she refused, she sat outside the hiring office every day for two weeks. When asked why she wanted the job so badly, she simply replied, "I love uniforms. I like people." In 1944, the 16-year-old became the first black woman to drive a streetcar in San Francisco.


For most of her life, Angelou worked in jobs that paid little, but she learned acting, singing, and dancing. She also delved into her African roots, which brought her to Ghana, where she worked as a freelance writer. By 1968, she found herself again in America, where she wrote her best-known work, the semi-autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a dark yet relatable story of a woman battling sexual abuse, racism and trauma. The ultimately victorious story that develops is an inner force that moves him from victim to survivor.

Angelou excelled again with poems such as "Still I Rise," "Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well," and "I Shall Not Be Moved." Her literary talent is particularly notable because she was nonverbal as a child, a reaction to sexual abuse at the hands of a man who was later killed, possibly by her family. "I thought my voice killed him," she later explained. "I killed the man because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again because my voice would kill someone." Between the ages of eight and thirteen, she did not speak for about five years.


Angelou wrote seven semi-fictional biographies, a style that was somewhat unique to him, meaning that it can often be difficult to analyze the truth in relation to his personal life (for example, how many times he has been married). He published his last book in 2013 at the age of 85.

Angelou has received several awards ranging from Tony and Grammy Awards to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was given to her in 2010 by President Barack Obama for her overall contribution to the field of literature. He wasn't the first president to honor him, either: In 1993, he was invited to President Bill Clinton's inauguration, where he recited "On the Pulse of the Morning." He died on 24 May 2014 of unknown causes.

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