Maya Angelou By: Alcira Vargas
D R A M A ~and~ The A R T S
Biographical Information • Birth name: Marguerite Johnson • Stage name: Maya Angelou • Born: April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, MO • Parents: Bailey Johnson and Vivian Baxter Johnson • Siblings: one brother, Bailey Jr. • Spouse: Tosh Angelos (divorced) • Children: one son, Clyde Bailey “Guy” Johnson • Grandchildren: one grandson, Colin Ashanti Johnson • Education: Lafayette Country Training School, George Washington High School, and Mission High School • Jobs: 1st black streetcar conductor in San Francisco, singer, dancer, poet, author, actress, speaker, night club dancer, Madame, cook, editor for African newspapers, removed paint at a body shop, and political activist
~Maya Angelou “You ‘Oughta Knows”~ • At the age of 8, she was raped by her mom’s boyfriend. • She was mute for the next 5 years, speaking only occasionally to her brother. • At 16, she had a son with a neighborhood boy. • Most credited for her auto-biography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings • Recited her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration • Her volume of poetry “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water “Fore I Die” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. • Was a singer for a while and produced a few songs with her label • Toured with the play “Porgy and Bess” throughout Europe • Acted in the television show “Roots” • Involved in African-American political movement • She was the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the 1960’s. • In the 1970’s, she was a member of the Bicentennial Commission (appointed by President Gerald Ford) and the Commission of the International Woman of the Year (appointed by President Jimmy Carter). • Given a lifetime appointment in 1981 as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University • Enjoys her parody on Saturday Night Live
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities. - Maya Angelou
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou
There is a line between loving life and being greedy for it. - Maya Angelou LifE!
What is Maya’s Historical Contribution? Dr. Maya Angelou did more for America, as well as the world, than we will ever know. From writing numerous poems and books, singing, dancing, acting, and being an inspirational speaker, she has changed the course of many people’s lives. She brought any form of abuse into the open, and made it more acceptable. By showing us her personal tragedy in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she broke many barriers in today’s society. Also, she made literary history in writing poems that didn’t rhyme, but had a beauty that was unsurpassable.
She is famous for saying, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” This is yet again another example of what she has done for modern history. Dr. Angelou continually speaks out against the racism in our country 100 years ago and today. She wants everyone to be treated equally and justly. With her rich words and majestic dignity, Dr. Maya Angelou has changed the face of lower-class America and become an icon worldwide.
Something I About Maya Angelou As I researched her, I found that she always had an abundance of confidence. She took horrible childhood trauma and created an inspiring legacy out of it. I love someone, such as Dr. Angelou, who looks into the face of adversity and says, “You won’t break me.” That is exactly what Maya did and I applaud her.
Works Cited • "Maya Angelou." Who2? Biographies. Who2?, 2005. Answers.com 07 Feb. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/maya-angelou • "Maya Angelou." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press., 2003. Answers.com 07 Feb. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/maya-angelou • "Maya Angelou." The Chronology of American Literature. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 07 Feb. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/maya-angelou • "Maya Angelou." Biographies. Biogs.com, 2005. Answers.com 07 Feb. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/maya-angelou • "Maya Angelou." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2005. Answers.com 07 Feb. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/maya-angelou • Gracia, Maria. San Pedro High School. “Maya Angelou – 1928” http://www.ncteamericancollection.org/litmap/angelou_maya_ca.htm • “Maya Angelou Quotes” http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/maya/_angelou.html • “Maya Angelou” http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/87 • “Maya Angelou – Using Your Life” http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/20020404/tows_slide_20020404_06.jhtml • “Maya Angelou” html://www.mayaangelou.com/ShortBio.html • “Maya Angelou Quotes” html://www.afroamhistory.about.com/od/mayaangelou/a/mangelouquotes.htm