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Maya Angelou. By Kathleen M. Salley July 19, 2002. Maya Angelou. Author Poet Civil rights activist Women’s rights activist Professor World renowned speaker Professor Actress Playwright Entertainer Producer and director. Early Years. Born in 1928 in St. Louis

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maya angelou

Maya Angelou

By Kathleen M. Salley

July 19, 2002

maya angelou1
Maya Angelou
  • Author
  • Poet
  • Civil rights activist
  • Women’s rights activist
  • Professor
  • World renowned speaker
  • Professor
  • Actress
  • Playwright
  • Entertainer
  • Producer and director
early years
Early Years
  • Born in 1928 in St. Louis
    • Lived with her mother for just a short time
      • Raped by her mother’s boyfriend
      • Was mute for several years
  • Raised by her grandmother after her parents separated
    • Lived in a tiny, totally segregated town in Arkansas
    • At age 17 had her only child named Guy
    • In her early 20s Grandmother died
      • Maya’s attitude towards life changed dramatically
        • She would live fully
activist
Activist
  • Married a South African freedom fighter
  • In Cairo was editor of the Arab Observer, the only English-language newspaper in the Middle East
  • In Ghana was feature editor of the African Review and taught at the University of Ghana
  • With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Appointed by President Ford to the Bicentennial Commission
activist1
Activist
  • Appointed by President Carter to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year
  • Written and produced several prize winning documentaries promoting black rights and women’s rights
  • Nominated for an Emmy for her acting in Roots and her screen play Georgia which was the first screenplay to be filmed by a black woman
  • Continues to lecture around the world
slide6

BLACK FAMILY PLEDGE

By Dr. Maya Angelou

Because we have forgotten our ancestors our children no longer give us honor.

Because we have lost the path our ancestors cleared, kneeling in perilous undergrowth, our children cannot find their way.

Because we have banished the God of our ancestors, our children can not pray.

Because the long wails of our ancestors have faded beyond our hearing, our children cannot hear us crying.

Because we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering, our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want nor understand.

Because we have forgotten how to love, the adversary is within our gates, and holds us up to the mirror of the world, shouting, Regard the loveless.

slide7

Therefore, we pledge to bind ourselves again to one another; our lowliest, To keep company with our loneliest, To educate our illiterate, To feed our starving,To clothe our ragged, To do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters. We are our brothers and sisters. In honor of those who toiled and implored God with golden tongues, and in gratitude to the same God who brought us out of hopeless desolation, We make this pledge.

philosophy
Philosophy

“Justice begins with each of us. We must seek justice, but at the same time we must care not to lust after revenge. We are no better than our adversaries. We should always be on the other side from justice.”

love is what really matters
Love is What Really Matters
  • Maya does not mean the mushy kind of love. She means the love “that is the condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows us to rise, that condition that allows people to dream of God, to imagine golden roads.” She states that this condition has allowed the “dumb” to write spirituals, Russian songs and Irish lilts. She believes that love gives us a great deal of confidence about life. “If you want to liberate someone, love them.
slide10

Caged Bird"

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hills

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze

and the trade winds soft through singing trees

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn

and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

"Caged Bird"

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

"Caged Bird"

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

slide11

"Caged Bird"

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

slide12

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

slide13

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hills

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

slide14

The free bird thinks of another breeze

and the trade winds soft through singing trees

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn

and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

slide15

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

work cited
Work Cited

http://www.galegroup.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/angelou_m.htm

http://iisd1.iisd.ca/50comm/panel/pan04.htm

http://www.math.buffalo.edu/~sww/angelou/angelou.bio.bib.html#contax

http://melanet.com/watoto/pledge.html