A Remarkable Renaissance Maya Angelo: A Remarkable Renaissance Woman Maya Angelo is a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. Throughout Angelinos writings, she expresses the realities of growing up in difficult circumstances and has now become one of the most influential figures of American literature. The works of Angelo reflect the strength of womanhood and the impact she has made during her lifetime. Despite being abused and molested as a young girl, Angelo has proven to the world her capability of accomplishing her dreams.
Maya Angelo, originally known as Marguerite Johnson, was born on April 4, 1928, in SST. Louis, Missouri (Williams). She adopted the name Maya Angelo in 1953. Angelinos parent’s divorced when she was only three years of age. Once the divorce took place, she and her brother, Bailey, were sent to live with their grandmother in the small town of Stamps, Arkansas (America’s Renaissance Woman). While living in Stamps, Angelo experienced the racial discrimination that was the legally enforced way of life in the American south, but she also absorbed the deep religious faith and old-fashioned courtesy of traditional African American life (Williams).
After living with her grandmother for four years, Angelo went through a phase of silence. The silence was the result of being sexually molested by her mother’s boyfriend (Williams). Angelo felt as if she did not have the right to speak after hearing news of her uncle murdering her attacker. Angelo felt guilty and that it were her words that had killed the man. Angelo fell silent and did not speak for five years after the death of her attacker (Williams). It was not until the age of thirteen, when Angelo and her rather rejoined their mother in San Francisco that she began to speak again.
Maya was finally able to overcome her fear of speaking. Throughout the years that Angelo attended Mission High School, she excelled in her school work. Angelo was not only able to excel at school, she also surpassed in the workforce outside of school life. When Angelo was seventeen, she became the first African American streetcar conductor on San Franciscans Market Street Railway Cones). She also worked various jobs such as a cook, dancer, and singer Cones). Angelo proved that she was a very active teenager and worked diligently at whatever task she was given.
It was during this time that Angelo was exposed to the progressive ideals that animated her later political activism. Maya gave birth to her son, Guy, at the age of sixteen. She and her son moved to New York City in 1957 Cones). While living in New York, Angelo became involved in many different activities. During her time there, she raised money for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (CLC) with a show called Cabaret for Freedom Cones). Angelo wrote, directed, and starred in the show. In 1972, Angelo rote the script for another movie titled Georgia, Georgia.
The many plays and movies that Maya produced contributed to the fame she has received today. Although Angelo has a varied career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood first female black director, she is most famous as a writer, editor, essaying, playwright and poet (Angelo). Given Angelinos reallocates existence – from poverty in Arkansas to Journalism in Egypt and Ghana and ultimately to her destiny as a successful writer and professor in the States – it has been no surprise that Angelo has not limited herself to only one or two genres (Meet the Writers).
Angelinos career ranges in a wide variety from writing poetry to directing shows. She has written books of poetry, autobiographies, children’s books, and screenplays Cones). Angelo has also been a singer, actress, and movie director. As a child, Maya loved to read and dreamed of one day being the author of her own book. Her favorite writers were William Shakespeare, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Longs Hughes, and W. E. B. Dubious Cones). These writers inspired Angelo to be the excellent writer she has become today. Angelo published her first short story in a Journal called Revolute¶n in 1958 Cones).
The events that took place during Mama’s childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, led her to writing the well-known auto-biography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This auto-biography illustrates the life that Angelo had to live and the struggles that she had to face to finally reach where she is now. Maya Angelo has been a strong influence in American literature. She has also made an impact with her involvement during the civil rights movement and being a women’s rights activist. Angelo was among the first, if not the first, to create a literary franchise based on autobiographical writings (Meet the Writers).
Angelo has become a populist poet due to her writings on paper and being a suede-voiced speaker. Angelo has been awarded numerous awards for her various products she produces or writes. An award does not always have to be materialistic. It is Just as much or a greater award for Angelinos works to still be shared throughout the world today. Angelinos 1993 poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” written for Bill Silicon’s presidential inauguration, was later released as a Grammar-winning album (Meet the Writers). The Springing medal in 1994 was awarded to her for her achievement in literature (Williams).
Angelinos 1995 poem “Phenomenal Woman” is still passed along the Web among woman as inspiration (Meet the Writers). Before Angelo received these awards, she had become involved with helping Martin Luther King Jar. , and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference fight against racism Cones). Angelo also agreed to help Malcolm X, but two days after Angelo returned to the United States from a trip, Malcolm X was killed. Martin Luther King, Jar. And Malcolm X both influenced the decisions that Angelo wanted to change in her life. Angelo realized that she could influence people the same as they were both able to.
Angelo decided that she would help African Americans achieve equality through her writings. Angelo was able to accomplish her goal, plus take on many more challenges. Angelo is now a great-grandmother and is a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N. C (Angelo). Angelo states that she does like to be called Dry. Angelo (Angelo). Although she never went to college, she has been awarded more than 30 honorary degrees. Angelo is an American study herself. “l created myself,” she says. “l have taught myself so much. ” The multi-talented
Angelo is very proud of her accomplishments in life. She still enjoys being politically involved and making a difference in the United States. Angelo shared, “I’m not a writer who teaches. I’m a teacher who writes. But I had to work at Wake Forest to know that. ” This statement Just shows how important it is to Angelo to make a difference in others’ lives. Maya Angelo has been a hard worker since she was a young girl. As a result of her hard work, Angelo has written and published many successful pieces of literature. She has also been awarded numerous prestigious awards.