Maya as being a poet and writer, Maya Angelou

            Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in
St. Louis. She had a rough childhood. However, despite this later in life she
was able to retell stories from her childhood in many of her books, often with
messages of humanity and hope. Maya Angelou married a South African freedom
fighter and for a time lived in Cairo and later returned to America in the
1960’s. When she returned to America she played a role in the civil rights
movement and was asked to do work on behalf of President Carter and President
Ford.

During
the civil rights movement she would come in contact with both Martin Luther
King Jr. and Malcom X. She helped to form the new Organization of African
American Unity with Malcom X.

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As
well as being a poet and writer, Maya Angelou had a productive career in TV and
film. The popularity of Maya Angelou has in large part been due to her ability
to write about the many experiences of life with a vivid and engaging style
that absorbs the reader. After reciting a poem ‘On the Pulse of the Morning’ at
Bill Clinton’s inauguration, she became one of the best known African-American
authors, and sales increased significantly. Many of her books are featured in
schools around the US.

Dr.
Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home on May 28, 2014.

Throughout
her life Maya Angelou was never hesitant to speak up, especially when it came
to the matter of racial and gender equality. According to The National “Maya Angelou walked into a meeting of civil rights
leaders discussing affirmative action back in the 1990s, looked around, and put
them all in their place with a single, astute observation, “She came into the
room,” recalled Al Sharpton, “and she said: ‘The first problem is you don’t
have women in here of equal status. We need to correct you before you can
correct the country.”‘

            Throughout her life she provided a
voice for women, specifically those of African American decent. She became the
first female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, she quickly became an
activist in both the civil rights and women’s rights movements. She was a
singer and dancer, even instructing Alicia Keys at one point in her life,. She
also mentored Oprah Winfrey, it is quite possible that she instilled in Oprah
many of the ideas and values that made her one of the most famous African
American celebrities in the world. According to Rep Nancy Pelosi, D-California,
the nation’s first female House speaker, Angelou was a “phenomenal woman of
insight, eloquence and artistry who gave voice to the rawness and loftiness of
our history and our humanity,”

Before
becoming a famed author, Angelou worked as a coordinator for the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference, and lived for years in Egypt and Ghana, where
she met Nelson Mandela, one of her longtime friends. Three years later she
worked along side Martin Luther King Jr. to organize the Poor Peoples March in
Memphis. King was assassinated on Angelou’s 40th birthday.

Throughout
her life she touched the hearts of many. Many women sympathized with Angelou
due to her tough childhood and young adult life. She grew up poor and black,
she was a victim of rape, and a young single mother who turned to stripping to
provide for her children. She
took all of that and turned it into I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, one of the
most widely read memoirs of the past few decades.

“If
you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your
attitude”

Maya Angelou

1928-2014