Maya Angelou lived as a pioneer for black women in her time. Maya Angelou lived from 1928 – 2014. She was poet, author, screenwriter, dancer and poet. Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri and was raised in Arkansas.
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In the 1950s, Angelou moved to San Francisco working as a calypso singer and dancer. Maya Angelou received a scholarship to study dance and acting in San Francisco.
Angelou was an adventurous spirit and lived abroad in Cairo, Egypt and Ghana. As a result of her travels, Angelou spoke 6 different languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Fanti. Maya Angelou also studied many religions, including Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
She was friends with another civil rights activist, Malcolm X. Angelou worked with Malcolm X to set up the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The Organization of Afro-American Unity was set up with six objectives. The organization sought to establish new businesses, empower youth, demand justice and establish better trading and communication between Africa and the USA. Angelou also worked with Martin Luther King Jr.
Angelou was a talented writer. Her most famous book is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Her book was on the New York Times’ bestseller list for two years.
Maya Angelou Coins
In the year 2022, she is featured on American Quarters. The US Mint started the American Women Quarters Program, where five women are featured on quarters between the years 2022 and 2025.
Maya Angelou Fun Facts
Maya Angelou was six feet tall.
Maya Angelou was a cohost on the Oprah & Friends radio show.
Maya Angelou wrote “Georgia, Georgia” the first original play script written by a black woman to be produced.
Angelou’s most famous poetry collection is called Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die.
Angelou was the second person to ever read poetry at the presidential inauguration. The first person was Robert Frost. Angelou read at President Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration.
Read the poem here.
Maya Angelou Creative Challenge
Write a poem about who you are. Whether it’s an acrostic poem of your name or a haiku about your favorite sport, we may read your submission on air.