maya angelou

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Power Point-Life of Maya Angelou


  • 1.You may shoot me with your words. You may cut me with your eyes. You may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, Ill rise." - Maya Angelou


  • Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Annie Johnson to Bailey and Vivian Baxter Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents divorced when she was only three years old. Maya Angelou andher younger brother Bailey were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. It was there at a she experienced the racial discrimination that was the legally enforced way of life in the American South. However, Maya Angelou developed a deep religious faith and an old-fashioned courtesy of traditional African American life. She credits her grandmother and her extended family with instilling in her the values that helped her survive throughout her life and in her career.


  • Maya Angelou went to visit her mother in Chicago at the age of seven. While visiting, she was sexually molested by her mother's boyfriend. Maya Angelou was to ashamed to tell any of the adults in her life, so she confided in her brother. Later she heard the news that an uncle had killed her mothers boyfriend. Maya Angelou believed her words had killed the man and due to this, she fell silent and did not speak for five years.


  • 1941Maya and her brother returned to live with her mother in San Francisco where she attended George Washington High School and studied dance and drama on a scholarship at the California Labor School
  • 1942Teacher Bertha Flowers helped Maya to talk again and encouraged her interest in literature
  • 1942She dropped out of school in her teens to become San Francisco's first African American female cable car conductor
  • 1943Maya returned to high school, but became pregnant and graduated a few weeks before giving birth to her son, Guy. She left home to bring up her son as a single mother working as a waitress and cook
  • 1952She married a Greek sailor named Tosh Angelos but the marriage quickly failed
  • 1952She began her career as a nightclub singer and during this time took the name Maya Angelou
  • 1954/5Toured in a production of Porgy and Bess


  • 1957Recorded the album called Calypso Lady
  • 1958 Developed her skills in writing poetry and moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild
  • 1959 Became involved with Civil Rights Activists
  • 1959 At the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
  • 1960 She met the South African civil rights activist Vusumzi Make and in 1960, the couple and Guy moved, to Cairo, Egypt. In Cairo, Maya Angelou worked as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. She later moved to Ghana
  • 1964 Returned to America hoping to help Malcolm X build his new Organization of African American Unity
  • 1968 Malcolm X is assassinated and Maya began working on her Autobiographical book 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • 1970 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is published


  • 1973 Maya Angelou married Paul du Feu and moved with him and her son to Sonoma, California. She then worked on her writing and acting
  • 1974 Published Gather Together in My Name Published Singin and Swingin and Gettin Merry Like Christmas
  • 1981 She divorced Paul du Feu
  • 1981 Published The Heart of a Woman
  • 1984 Met Oprah Winfrey and became her friend and mentor
  • 1993 Maya Angelou reads her poem On the Pulse of Morning at inauguration of President Bill Clinton
  • 1997 Published All Gods Children Need Traveling Shoes
  • 2002 Published A Song Flung Up to Heaven
  • 1970 Receives the Chubb Fellowship Award, Yale University
  • 1972 Receives the Pulitzer Prize Nomination for Just Give Me A Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die


  • 1976 Receives the Ladies' Home Journal Award ("Woman of the Year in Communication")
  • 1977 Receives the Golden Eagle Award, Afro-American in the Arts
  • 1986 Receives Fulbright Program 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer award
  • 1991 Receives Langston Hughes Medal
  • 1993 Grammy for "Best Spoken Word Album," "On The Pulse of Morning, read duringthe inauguration of President Bill Clinton
  • 1996 Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Association National Award
  • 2006 Receives Mother Teresa Award
  • 2006 Maya Angelou became a radio talk show host for the first time hosting a weekly show for XM Satellite Radio's Oprah & Friends channel
  • 2008 Becomes the first recipient of Hope for Peace and Justice Voice of Peace award


  • Phenomenal Women
  • Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me (Lines 1-13).


  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings waspublished in 1970
  • The Heart of a Woman
  • Published in 1981


  • Dr. Maya Angelou has been a remarkable Renaissance woman. She is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. Dr. Maya Angelou still continues to travel the world as a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She is best known for spreading her legendary wisdom.