The Life and Accomplishments of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou has inspired me in more ways than one, and I had to write about her. When Maya speaks people listen. She has this wisdom that only few have, especially when life wasn’t always great. She turned tragedy into triumph, and helped others in doing so. So, Maya has proven too many women, especially black women that you succeed, even if you have had a child in your teen years. She’s proof that with determination nothing is unattainable.
I chose to write the paper as a timeline of Maya Angelou’s life. I started with birth, and concluded with present day, as Maya is still alive. Maya Angelou is not only a poet, but an author, activist, professor, and screenplay written. Maya Angelou was actually born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Both Maya and her brother Bailey, was sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas.
The move happened when Maya was three year old, and it was a result of he parents divorcing. Bailey, Maya’s little brother couldn’t pronounce her name Marguerite, so he called her my. Soon after reading a book about the Maya Indians, Bailey began to call his sister Maya. While living in Arkansas, Maya faced racial discrimination everyday, which was legally enforced at that time.
Even though she grew up sealing with discrimination, Maya was able to retain a deep religious faith. Maya’s relationship with her grandmother, brother, and extended family was very sound and loving. They instilled values and morals in her that helped shape her future, and career.
At the age of 8 while visiting her mother in Chicago, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. Being ashamed of what happened; Maya only told Bailey what happened to her. After eventually speaking the rapist’s name, he was killed by several of Maya’s uncles. Under the impression that she caused his death, Maya went mute for 5 years. By the age of 13, Maya began speaking again. It was at this time both Maya, and Bailey rejoined their mother in San Francisco.
It was there Maya attended the Mission High School, where she won a dance and drama scholarship to study at San Francisco’s Labor School. She attended the school momentarily, but dropped out and became the first African American female cable car conductor. Maya returned back to school only to drop out in her senior year due to a pregnancy. She actually graduated a few weeks early and gave birth shortly after to a boy, which she named Guy.
At the age of 16, Maya left home with her son Guy. She supported them by working menial jobs such as waitressing and being a cook. In 1952, Maya married a Greek sailor named Anatasis Angelopules. In her career as a nightclub singer, she used Maya Angelou as her professional name. Even though her marriage was short lived, her performing career was blooming. In 1954-1955, she toured Europe with an opera production for Porgy and Bess. Maya also studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on...