Maya Angelou's Life Essay

1161 words - 5 pages

Maya Angelou's life growing up was not always perfect. Given the birth name of Marguerite Ann Johnson, Maya Angelou was borin in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4th, 1928. Although she was born there, she spent most of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas with her Grandmother, Annie Henderson and in San Fransico, California with her mother. Maya Angelou is still living today and teaches at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Maya had to deal with many hard things growing up and although it wasn't perfect, she's lead a very eventful life.
Maya never had a very functional family. Her mother, Vivian Baxter, was a nurse and realtor and her father Bailey Johnson was a navy dietician. When Maya was just 3 years old her parents divorced. Maya's father shipped her and 4 year old brother Bailey to live with his mother in Arkansas while their mother moved to California. Because her parents divorced when she was so young, Maya never really knew what a healthy relationshop looked like and in the long run this affected her own love life. In 1950, however, when Maya was just 22, she married Tosh Angelos, an ex-sailor. They didn't have much in common though and 3 years later they were divorced. Maya did have other relationships with men but they never seemed to work out. Although her relationships involving love weren't successful, her friendships were. In 1964, Maya met Malcolm X. The two became great friends and he even offered her a job to help him build a new civil rights organization, the Organization of African American Unity. Unfortunately, he was assassinated shortly after she began working with him. After Malcolm X's assasination, Martin Luther King Jr. contacted Maya and asked for her help to organize a march for Malcolm. During this process the two also became friends. Maya never did get to organize the march because on April 4th, her birthday, Martin was assassinated. Martin had such a huge impact on her life that Maya was inspired to deal with her grief by writing her first autobiography. Since she was involved with politics, Maya also became friends with social activist and author John Killens.
Maya's early life was pretty traumatic. While visiting her mother in San Francisco when she was 7, Maya was sexually abused by her mothers current boyfriend. Mr. Freeman. Maya was very upset so she told her brother who in turn told the rest of their family. Mr. Freeman was found guilty but was sentenced to only one day in jail. Four days after he was released he was found kicked to death. It was her uncle who had killed her attacker. After this, Maya went mute. She believed that as she states it, "I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone..." Maya returned to Stamps, Arkansas shortly after the incident and for 5 years didn't speak to anyone. It was a teacher, Mrs. Bertha Flowers who finally got her to...

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