One of the most admirable artist in the world Maya Angelou went from a very rough, young life in poverty to an extremely successful and important existence in the world of today. She isn’t just a poet but also an author, playwright, stage and screen producer, dancer, singer, director, and civil rights activist. Of course, a small PowerPoint isn't enough to describe her biography..She’s written five volumes of it. Some Biographical Facts! She was in a segregated environment since she was a little girl. She was born as Marguerite Johnson, and her brother gave her the name of “Maya.” She was born in St. Luis, Missouri on April 4,1928. After being raped by her mother’s boyfriend at age eight, she was mute for nearly six years. Maya Angelou
Inspirations! • After some horrible incidents in her childhood life, Maya went back to living with her grandmother in Arkansas from having been living with her mother in California. She then met a lady named Bertha Flowers, who got her used to writing and speaking again. Since then she loved writing. Her teens and early twenties were spent as a dancer, filled with isolation and experimentation. At the age of sixteen she had a baby boy named Guy, after having him she wanted to settle down. Around the age of thirty she was inspired by her friend,a social activist author , John Killens to start writing for others.She then moved to Brooklyn and started her career firmly deciding she wanted to be an author.
Major Historical Events! • 1928April 4, 1928 - Maya was born as Marguerite Ann Johnson in Saint Louis, Missouri. Her parents were Bailey and Vivian Baxter Johnson • 1931Her parents marriage ended and Maya and her brother were sent to live with her father's mother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas • 1935The children were returned to the care of their mother in St. Louis • 1937Maya was sexually abused and raped by her mother's boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. The shock made Maya mute and the children were sent back to live with their grandmother once again • 1941Maya and her brother returned to live with her mother in San Francisco where she attended George Washington High School and studied dance and drama on a scholarship at the California Labor School • 1942Teacher Bertha Flowers helped Maya to talk again and encouraged her interest in literature • 1942She dropped out of school in her teens to become San Francisco's first African American female cable car conductor • ( Much more of the timeline available in http://www.history-timelines.org.uk/people-timelines/19-maya-angelou-timeline.htm )
“Still I Rise” Maya Angelou Out of the huts of history's shameI riseUp from a past that's rooted in painI riseI'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.Leaving behind nights of terror and fearI riseInto a daybreak that's wondrously clearI riseBringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,I am the dream and the hope of the slave.I riseI riseI rise. Does my haughtiness offend you?Don't you take it awful hard'Cause I laugh like I've got gold minesDiggin' in my own back yard.You may shoot me with your words,You may cut me with your eyes,You may kill me with your hatefulness,But still, like air, I'll rise.Does my sexiness upset you?Does it come as a surpriseThat I dance like I've got diamondsAt the meeting of my thighs? • You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod me in the very dirtBut still, like dust, I'll rise.Does my sassiness upset you?Why are you beset with gloom?'Cause I walk like I've got oil wellsPumping in my living room.Just like moons and like suns,With the certainty of tides,Just like hopes springing high,Still I'll rise.Did you want to see me broken?Bowed head and lowered eyes?Shoulders falling down like teardrops.Weakened by my soulful cries.
“Remembrance” Maya Angelou Your hands easyweight, teasing the beeshived in my hair, your smile at theslope of my cheek. On theoccasion, you pressabove me, glowing, spoutingreadiness, mystery rapesmy reasonWhen you have withdrawnyour self and the magic, whenonly the smell of yourlove lingers betweenmy breasts, then, onlythen, can I greedily consumeyour presence.
Works Cited • “Maya Angelou.”http:/www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/87.May 10,2010. • Napierosky, Marie Rose & Mary Kay Ruby. Poetry for Students Vol.2. pp.98-99 • Chalton,Nicola. Literary Lifelines Vol.1. pp.84-85. • Graham,Judith. Current Biography Yearbook 1994. pp.25-28. • “Maya Angelou.” http://www.history-timelines.org.uk/people-timelines/19-maya-angelou-timeline.htm. May 18,2010.