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Maya Angelou: Life And Poetry’s Fines

915 words - 4 pages

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope” (Brainyquote.com). That uncomplicated line was poet Maya Angelou’s enduring adage throughout the whole of her adult life. Angelou felt that love was among the many skills she possessed, believing to have a predisposition to love all people, and to inspire them to love as well. Maya Angelou’s love for mankind truly shows through her work of poetry as she jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to reach the ultimate destination of becoming an awe-inspiring human being.

Maya Angelou is one of the most revered poets of her time, with the extraordinary ability to tell a story like no other. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928, Angelou grew up with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. She and her older brother Bailey resided with their father’s mother as their unstable parents separated when they were both very young (MayaAngelous.com). Angelou is a shining example of one’s potential to make good out of a shoddy upbringing. On one of the rare occasions when she visited her mother, she was raped by her live-in boyfriend. So traumatized by this experience, she spent the next few years as a virtual mute. Despite her difficult youth, Angelou managed to pull herself out of depression and speak once again (Biography.com). Now an admired entertainer and civil rights activist, Angelou overcame many obstacles standing in the way of her ambitions, such as the vast discrimination against blacks at that time, later saying “A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream” (Goodreads.com). Angelou’s sweeping contributions extend far beyond poetry and entertaining. She spent most of her life as a civil rights activist, fighting for the rights of African American citizens (Poets.org). To describe this remarkable woman as multi-talented would not begin to convey the profundity of her prowess.

Maya Angelou began her sundry career as a performer in the mid-1950s. Appearing in many on and off-Broadway productions, Angelou elegantly showcased her assorted talents, singing and dancing in performances such as Porgy and Bess and the off-Broadway production Calypso Heat Wave, both in 1957. Later that same year, Angelou released her first musical album, titled Miss Calypso (MayaAnglous.com). A member of the Harlem Writers Guild, Angelou took a special interest in women’s liberation and racial impartiality. The passion Angelou felt for the victimized led her to become a reputable civil rights activist, serving as the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an...

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