Maya Angelou is part of the fabric of modern America. She has told her story of being a key part of the civil rights movement through poetry, novels and film. She is best known for her six autobiographies, most notably ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her to recite one of her poems at his inauguration.
Angelou was born in Missouri in 1928 into a deeply segregated society. Her parent’s divorce meant she was sent back and forth between her mother and grandmother. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her when she was eight. His later murder left Angelou mute for five years. She studied drama and literature at school, and three weeks after graduating, gave birth to her son.
Angelou died on the morning of May 28, 2014 at the age 86. She was found by her nurse. Although Angelou had reportedly been in poor health and had canceled recent scheduled appearances, she was working on another book, an autobiography about her experiences with national and world leaders. During her memorial service at Wake Forest University, her son Guy Johnson stated that despite being in constant pain due to her dancing career and respiratory failure, she wrote four books during the last ten years of her life. He said, "She left this mortal plane with no loss of acuity and no loss in comprehension."
10 Questions for Maya Angelou
March 28, 2013
Alone Short Film | A Poem by Maya Angelou
November 29, 2019
AMERICAN MASTERS | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise Trailer | PBS
February 3, 2017
Clip: Maya Angelou on the Noble Story of Black Womanhood
June 5, 2014
Maya Angelou - Civil Rights Activist & Author | Mini Bio | BIO
January 28, 2010