“Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.” (Online - White House). This memorial statement, by Barack Obama in 2014, encompasses how many felt towards Maya Angelou, one of the most influential writers and voices of her generation. Over the course of her lifetime, Maya Angelou was awarded over 50 honorary degrees and received the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Angelou’s personal admiration and self-love that is reflected in her poetic works, specifically, “Phenomenal Woman,” is credited to the overcoming of her traumatic childhood and her work in activism.
The leader I choose was Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was an African American Civil Rights activist, Author, & poet who issued 7 autobiographies 3 essay books and various poetry books, and had done a number of plays. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928 and recently died on May 28, 2014. Some time during World War 2 Maya won a Scholarship to study acting and dance at the California Labor School, in San Francisco, California. At the time Maya became the first African American female cable car conductor(A job she had for a short amount of time). Other than that she was An author, poet , screenwriter, etc.
On April 4th of 1928 Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. She was given the name “Maya” by her brother, Bailey. Both Maya and Bailey were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas after her parents divorced.
Selena Quintanilla Pérez was a successful tejano singer. Her life was influenced by music. Unfortunately, she passed away at a young age. Selena was one of the first female tejano singers to find success. She accomplished many great achievements in her short lifetime.
Angelou’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement and her achievements as an activist were remarkable. While these achievements seem to be enough to last a lifetime, the Civil Rights Movement was only the beginning for Angelou. Angelou worked as an outspoken Civil Rights activist during the movement. But even after the Civil Rights Movement had ended, she continued to be a voice of humanity, speaking out against anything that harmed the human spirit. Angelou moved on to influence American society as a whole, from the 1970’s to the day she died, May 28, 2014. She was a multi-talented person as Toni Morrison, a friend and contemporary of Angelou, expressed: “She had 19 talents and used 10. And she was a real original.” (qtd, in Sherwell, 2014).
Maya Angelou was one of the most influential literary phenomenons, who created numerous inspiring works and paved the way for many African Americans, while facing discrimination and prejudices. She gave people hope through her countless works of literature and gave people an understanding to what it really feels like to be an African American.
a. Maya Angelou was an avid writer, speaker, activist and teacher. As a result of the many hardships that she suffered while growing up as a poor black woman in the south she has used her own experiences as the subject matter of her written work. In doing this she effectively shows how she was able to overcome her personal obstacles. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) tells the story of her life and how she overcame and moved forward triumphantly in spite of her circumstances. She asks her readers to rise above their defeats, to not allow anyone to stop their dreams. In demonstrating how she succeeded she has been a role model for women of all cultures and races. The “Phenomenal Women” poem is a celebration
Dancer, actress, editor, cook, madam, singer. Maya Angelou at the age of 40 was doing all of these things, and then at the age of 41 she became an author. I chose this person because I think it was interesting how managed to do all of these shows on broadway, and got to create a whole bunch of books herself. Many people interviewed her, about her books and everyone finds all her books inspiring, and everything else she does is inspiring. Another reason I also picked Maya Angelou is because she was one of the first black woman to have certain screenplays and be on different shows and sing. This essay will talk about what Maya Angelou went through, and and her impact on society.
Life is a long journey in which we are forced to experience something new everyday. We have days of strength, days of weakness, days of honesty, and days of deceit. We are not fully in control of the what happens to us, but we have the power to choose where to go next. We have the option to be happy, to be sad, to be a leader, or to be a follower. Choice is powerful, without choice we would not have change-for better or for worse. Everyday can significantly change because of a single choice. But every choice is not always available to everyone. There are barriers that stand in the way of each, some can be broken down easily, while others take more time and effort. Maya Angelou experienced and overcame more of these barriers than I could ever
Maya Angelou recalls the first seventeen years of her life, discussing her unsettling childhood in her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya and Bailey were sent from California to the segregated South to live with their grandmother, Momma. At the age of eight, Maya went to stay with her mother in St. Louis, where she was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. Maya confronts these traumatic events of her childhood and explores the evolution of her own strong identity. Her individual and cultural feelings of displacement, caused by these incidents of sexual abuse, are mediated through her love for literature. In this research paper I will be analyzing if the sexual abuse, molestation, and/or rape Maya
The human connection to birds is a fascinating thing that is often depicted in stories. Humans want to be free like birds and fly away from the troubles that are present in their life. Birds reflect the image of freedom in life, so it’s no wonder that the Bald Eagle is the emblem of the United States; a country built on the principles of freedom and equality. Two famous poets by the names of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Maya Angelou used the image of the bird to describe how they felt in their own life. Even though Dunbar wrote in the Reconstruction Era and Angelou wrote around the time of the Civil Rights Movement, their ideas were almost identical. Angelou and Dunbar show similarities when they describe feeling trapped like caged birds, but their portrayal of the birds contrast in their actions
Maya Angelou was primarily a very versatile and talented person. This woman of African American origin wrote and published seven autobiographies that were very popular and highly-evaluated in the US. However, she is well-known not only for being an author but also for being an actress, poet, dancer, and screenwriter. And of course we must not forget activism in the field of civil rights conducted by Maya. Being of African American origin and having a very difficult background full of discrimination and racial prejudice, Maya Angelou was then acting to protect and defend rights of other. All the set of activities she carried out just proves how important she was in terms of development of the America society.
In the Wikipedia article "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings," Angelou sheds light on the life she led as a child. She highlights the difficulties she had to go through when an opportunity for change was close to impossible (Wikipedia n.p.). Nevertheless, as a courageous young woman who discovered her passion for writing early, she used words to express herself, which later led to her success. The singing caged bird in the article refers to her having no other means to change her situation other than "singing," that is using literary works such as poetry and novels.