Maya Angelou Essay

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Maya Angelou was an author, civil rights activist, and a poet. She was the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, California, and was a part of the Harlem Writers Guild. Her 1969 autobiography called I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is the first best-seller from an African-American woman and her poems have earned her multiple awards. Angelou was a truly talented writer. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was an author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, and poet who had a difficult childhood. Her parents split up when she was young and she was sent with her older brother to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. She experienced racial prejudices and also suffered…show more content…
She got herself a spot in a touring production of Porgy and Bess, also appearing later in Calypso Heat Wave. In the same year the latter mentioned production took place—1957—her first album was released. It went by the name Miss Calypso. She organized and starred in a musical revue called Cabaret for Freedom and appeared in Jean Genet’s The Blacks in 1961. Angelou soon moved on and spent much of the 1960s trying other things from living in Egypt, to living in Ghana, to working as an editor and a freelance writer. She also earned herself a spot at the University of Ghana for a while. After returning home to the United States, she was urged to write about her life experiences. Her writings were extremely successful in 1969 when her memoir concerning her childhood and young adult life made history. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman and ended up making her famous. She was now a star internationally. Afterwards, Angelou continued to redefine what could and couldn 't be done by people. She wrote the drama Georgia, Georgia in 1972—making her the first African-American woman to have her screenplay produced— and continued, ended up earning herself a Tony Award nomination for her role in Look Away and an Emmy award nomination for her work on Roots. These were only some of her
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