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Maya Angelou Essay

1211 words - 5 pages


Maya Angelou is a phenomenal woman. She was born into a devastating decade, that suffered numerous tragedies. Not only had society shaped her as a woman, she has also shaped our society and influenced many lives. She is still living today, yet I believe her legend will never die. Furthermore I will share with you what motivated her and some of her gratifying experiences. How she was effected by society, and what she did about it. Also how the time period she was born into made her the extraordinary woman she is today.
     Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, a year before the crash of 29 (the stock market crash). To get a sense of what exactly Maya was born into, I will explain what exactly this meant. This was the start of the depression, a nation wide economic tragedy that lasted until the late 1930’s. The effects varied, but everyone suffered. By 1933, nearly one quarter of the workforce had been laid off. By 1934, two fifths of home owners lost their houses, and New York listed 100 deaths from starvation. About 37% of American had irregular eating habits, and generally did not get three meals a day. Only about 8% were getting only one meal a day, and this was not stolid food. Day after day, people lived off of bread, potatoes, macaroni, spaghetti, canned soups and thin gravy. Meat and vegetables were rarely served. A common response, often heard, when children were asked if they had eaten today was “No, this is my sisters’ day to eat.';
In 1937 the Ohio river burst it’s banks and killed over 250 people and ruined many livelihoods. Between 1933 and 1934 huge dust storms swept through country after country picking up tons of patched soil, 514,000 farm workers lost there jobs because of this. Stamps, Arkansas slowly came into the depression, and slowly came out of it. They did not even know of the depression until the early 30’s
     Maya Angelou born April 4, 1928, was born in St. Louis, MO. She was born as Marguerite, but her older brother Bailey nick named her Maya, and it has stuck with her ever since. Her family move to California when she was an infant. At age 3 and a half, her parents divorced, their father them to live with his mother Annie Henderson in Stamps, Arkansas. Her grandmother instilled pride and confidence in her, her self image shattered when she was raped. At the age of eight, Maya was raped by one of her mothers friend, she then fell into an abnormal silence for 5 years. Her parents mover her back, along with Bailey to Stamps, Arkansas as a cure. Her parents moved to Southern California and were seldom heard from. Her mother remarried in 1940. Maya and Bailey had daily chores to do at the General Store. Their grandmothers general store was a success, many people did not believe that a black woman owned and ran it. Maya had a very close relationship with her older brother Bailey. They always had there secrets jokes in...

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