A Personality Review Of Dr. Maya Angelou (Personality Theory).

1985 words - 8 pages

Dr. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father, Baily Johnson, was a doorman, and, later a dietician for the navy. Her mother, Vivian Johnson, was a registered nurse. When Angelou was three years old, her parents were divorced. They sent her and her four-year-old brother, Baily, Jr., to live with their paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas. Henderson ran a small general store and managed to scrape by. She continued to do so after her grandchildren joined her. Angelou's grandmother was one the many strong who trained her, helped her, and provided her with role models. The people of her church also nurtured her and gave her a sense of belonging to a community. But her child hood in the south was a nightmare. In 1982, Maya Angelou told Ebony Magazine about Stamps. She said: "When I was taken to California by my grandmother, I vowed never to return to the grim, humiliating south. Except for a tentative trip to visit when I was eighteen, I didn't break my promise until I was forty years old."When she was seven and a half, Angelou left Stamps to visit with her mother. While there, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. He was tried, found guilty, and kicked to death in prison. The confused little girl felt responsible for his death and withdrew into herself. "I was mute for five years, I wasn't cute and didn't speak. I thought he was killed because I spoke his name that was the only logic I was able to employ. So I thought if I spoke, anybody might die." In frustration, her mother sent her back to Stamps. Her emotional withdrawal caused many to think of her as backward, but her grandmother did not give up on her. "My grandmother told me all the time, 'Sister, Mama don't care what these people say about you being a moron, being a idiot. Mama don't care. Mama know, Sister, when you and the good Lord get ready, you're gonna be a preacher.'" Angelou was also helped by a woman named Bertha Flowers, who introduced her to literature. By the time of her graduation from eighth grade, she was at the head of her class. While attending high school, she took drama and dance lessons. She then decided that she wanted to be a streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Although San Francisco had never had a Black conductor and was not eager to hire one, she persisted and, with her mother's support managed to attain her goal. At sixteen Angelou gave birth to her son, Guy. She did not plan her pregnancy but has always been grateful that it happened. "The greatest gift I've ever had was the birth of my son. Because when he was small, I knew more than he did, I expected to be his teacher. So because of him, I educated myself. He began to ask questions I didn't have the answers to, so I started my lifelong love affair with libraries . . . I've learned an awful lot because of him. "Still, her life at this time was not easy. In addition to teaching her son, she also had to support him. She was a cook and a...

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