Maya Angelou Biography

Biography (History of the World: The 20th Century)

Article abstract: Best known for her poetry and autobiographical works, Angelou has had a multifaceted career, enjoying success as a dancer, actress, and teacher.

Early Life

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928 to Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson. Following her parents’ divorce, Angelou and her brother were sent to live with their paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, in Stamps, a poor rural section of Arkansas. Angelou’s grandmother, whom she called “Momma,” was the stable force in Angelou’s early life. Annie Henderson was a strong, religious woman who made sure that the family went to church regularly. Religion and spiritual music were important factors in the Johnson family life. Angelou also enjoyed a close relationship with her brother Bailey, who gave her the name “Maya.” Angelou and her brother lived with their grandmother and Uncle Willie in the rear of the Johnson store, which Annie Henderson had owned for twenty-five years. Because the store was the center of activity for the black community, Angelou saw at first hand the indignities that black residents suffered as a result of the prejudices of the white community in Stamps.

Angelou was a victim of violence at an early age. During one of her visits to her mother in St. Louis, Angelou was raped by a friend of her mother. When her mother’s brothers found out about the rape, they killed the man responsible. Believing that she had caused the man’s death by speaking his name, Angelou refused to speak for five years following these traumatic events. With the encouragement of Mrs. Flowers, an educated black woman from Stamps, Angelou regained her speech. Under Mrs. Flowers’ further guidance, Angelou began to read the works of William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

After graduating at the top of her eighth grade class in Stamps, Angelou and her brother continued their education in California. While still in high school, she worked as the first black woman streetcar conductor in San Francisco. At the age of sixteen and unmarried, she gave birth to her son, Guy Johnson. To support herself and Guy, she took jobs as a waitress, cook, and nightclub singer. In 1950, she married Tosh Angelos, a former sailor of Greek ancestry, but they were divorced after a few years. (Angelou’s surname was derived from that of her former husband.)

Angelou continued her early interest in music and dance by studying with Martha Graham. She went on to tour twenty-two countries during 1954 and 1955 as the premier dancer in Porgy and Bess. Her travels with the cast took her to Italy, France, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Egypt. During the late 1950’s, Angelou and Guy lived in a houseboat commune in California, where they went barefoot, wore jeans, and let their hair grow long. These experiences brought Angelou into contact with a variety of people from different countries and of different races.

As Angelou became interested in a writing career, she moved to New York in 1958 and joined the Harlem Writers Guild. In addition to working on her writing, she starred in the New York production of Jean Genet’s The Blacks (1960) with Godfrey Cambridge and collaborated with Cambridge to produce, direct, and star in Cabaret for Freedom (1960).

In 1960, Angelou and Guy moved to Cairo, Egypt, with a South African freedom fighter, Vusumzi Make. In Egypt, she served as an editor for Arab Observer, an English-language newspaper. Two years later, she and Guy moved to the West African nation of Ghana, where she worked for three years as a writer, as an assistant administrator for the University of Ghana, and as a feature editor for African Review.

Life’s Work

In the first volume of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), Maya Angelou shares her experience of growing up as a poor black female in the segregated rural South. Throughout her career she has continued to draw on her own experiences as the subject matter for her work. She has published four more volumes of her personal narrative showing how she was able to overcome obstacles posed by her race and gender to achieve success in many areas. In Gather Together in My Name (1974), Angelou writes about a difficult period in her life, a time when she was forced to work at menial jobs to support herself and her son. In Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976), Angelou describes her life as a dancer and actress, including her travels with the cast of Porgy and Bess. The next two volumes, The Heart of a Woman (1981) and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986) the rise of her career.

Angelou’s early exposure to spirituals and gospel music influenced her poetry. This poetry reveals a woman whose faith has sustained her in difficult times, and the rhythm of gospel music finds its way into her poetry. She has published several volumes of poetry: Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (1971), which earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination; Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975), whose title came from a nineteenth century spiritual; And Still I Rise (1978); Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? (1983); Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987); and I Shall Not Be Moved (1990).

Her firsthand knowledge of the harmful effects of racism led her to become a political activist, working for civil rights and for a wider understanding of the African American culture. In the 1960’s, at the request of Martin Luther King, Jr., Angelou served as the northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Her knowledge of the traditions and culture of black society went beyond political activism as Angelou worked to share this culture with a wider audience. She produced Blacks, Blues, Black (1968) for National Educational Television. This ten-part series explored African traditions in American life. Other television credits that deal with African American culture include Assignment America (1975), The Legacy (1976), The Inheritors (1976), and Trying to Make It Home (1988).

The diversity of her experiences and considerable talents have led her into the fields of dance, theater, and film. As an actress, she is probably best known for her portrayal of Kunta Kinte’s grandmother in the television production of Alex Haley’s Roots (1977). She played the role of the grandmother in the 1993 television film, There Are No Children Here. In addition to her acting career, she has produced and directed for the stage and screen. She also wrote the screenplays for Georgia, Georgia (1972) and All Day Long (1974), and collaborated on the teleplay for Sister, Sister (1982). In 1995 she had a cameo role in How to Make and American Quilt, and in 1998 she directed her first film: Down in the Delta.

In recognition of Angelou’s many accomplishments she has been awarded a variety of honors. Ladies’ Home Journal named her “Woman of the Year in Communications” in 1976. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Arkansas, Claremont College Graduate School, Ohio State University, Atlanta University, Wheaton College, Occidental College, Columbia College, Kean College, Smith College, Mills College, Lawrence University, and Wake Forest University and others. At the request of President Bill Clinton, Angelou wrote and delivered the commemorative poem at his inauguration on January 20, 1993. This poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” was later published by Random House. Angelou holds a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Summary

In the first volume of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou evokes an authentic portrait of what it was like to be black, poor, and female in the segregated South during the 1930’s. As she relates her personal narrative, she reveals herself as a strong, determined black woman who can overcome adversities and emerge triumphant. Through this work and others, Angelou has provided a role model for other black women who struggle to support their children, while maintaining a positive outlook on life. As she reveals the problems and challenges she has faced, she casts light on the lives of other black people, providing an insight into the quality of their lives. As she has matured as a writer, Angelou has extended that insight to include all persons, regardless of race or color.

In stressing the theme of triumph of the human spirit, Angelou urges others to rise above their defeats. Her philosophy is, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” The power of Angelou’s personal narrative impacts the lives of other women who follow her. Her works have earned praise for their candor in revealing the struggles, challenges, and triumphs that are her life. In showing how she overcame obstacles, she has served as a role model for other women. In her personal appearances and in her written work, Angelou shows herself to be a joyful, warm, articulate, and strong woman who writes about the challenges of the real world.

Bibliography

Braxton, Joanne M. Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989. Discusses how Angelou employs the image of the protecting mother as a primary archetype within her work. Traces Angelou’s development of themes common to black female autobiography: the centrality of the family, the challenges of child rearing and single parenthood, and the burden of overcoming negative stereotypes of African American women.

Cudjoe, Selwyn. “Maya Angelou and the Autobiographical Statement.” In Black Women Writers (1950-1980), edited by Mari Evans. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1983. Cudjoe discusses the importance of Angelou’s biographical work, arguing that she represents “the condition of Afro-American womanhood in her quest for understanding and love rather than for bitterness and despair.” Cudjoe stresses that by telling the story of her own life in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou has shown the reader what it means to be a black female in America.

Elliott, Jeffrey M., ed. Conversations with Maya Angelou. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1989. Part of the University Press of Mississippi’s ongoing Literary Conversations series, this work is a collection of more than thirty interviews with Angelou that originally appeared in various magazines and newspapers, accompanied by a chronology of her life. Provides a multifaceted perspective on the creative issues that have informed Angelou’s work as an autobiographer and a poet.

Lupton, Mary Jane. “Singing the Black Mother: Maya Angelou and Autobiographical Continuity.” Black American Literature Forum 24 (Summer, 1990): 257-275. A scholarly assessment of Angelou’s literary contributions to the field of autobiography, placing her within the rich context of African American narratives.

O’Neale, Sondra. “Reconstruction of the Composite Self: New Images of Black Women in Maya Angelou’s Continuing Autobiography.” In Black Women Writers (1950-1980), edited by Mari Evans. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1983. O’Neale argues that Angelou’s primary contribution to the canon of African American literature lies in her realistic portrayal of the lives of black people, especially black women. O’Neale goes on to demonstrate the ways in which Angelou successfully destroys many of the stereotypes of black women.

Tate, Claudia, ed. Black Women Writers at Work. New York: Continuum, 1983. In this collection of interviews, Tate explores the personal lives and works of such contemporary African American writers as Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison. In her interview, Angelou discusses the importance of black role models.

Maya Angelou Biography

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Maya Angelou

Introduction

Maya Angelou is, true to the title of her own poem, a “Phenomenal Woman.” Few people can say they have been a novelist, actress, singer, director, poet, and brothel madam, yet Angelou has filled all of these roles and many more. She was an integral part of the civil rights movement, working closely with both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. And as a survivor of poverty, familial discord, and a harrowing childhood, Angelou was able to turn her remarkable, tumultuous life into creative inspiration, particularly in the autobiographical work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which launched her career. Today, she is celebrated as one of the most notable African-American women of the twentieth century, yet her accomplishments cross lines of race, gender, sexuality, and culture.

Essential Facts

  1. Though heralded for her writing, Angelou is no stranger to acting. She received a Tony nomination for her role in Look Away and an Emmy nomination for her performance in the landmark miniseries Roots.
  2. Following sexual abuse and murder in her family, Angelou was electively mute for several years of her childhood. She began speaking again at the age of 13.
  3. Maya Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. The only other poet to have performed at a presidential inauguration was Robert Frost, who read at Kennedy’s.
  4. Despite numerous honorary degrees and academic engagements, Maya Angelou does not have a college education.
  5. In August 2006, Angelou received the Mother Teresa Award “for her untiring devotion and service to humanity.”

Maya Angelou Biography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Maya Angelou’s many achievements in diverse fields testify to the breadth of her talent, the strength of her character, and the power of her vision. As an actress, singer, activist, playwright, poet, and, especially, a compelling autobiographer, she has succeeded in communicating her remarkable experiences and perspective to an appreciative and ever-growing audience. Now in speeches and in interviews, Angelou criticizes the class system that keeps its heel on the poor, and she exhorts people to action, both for themselves and for others. The bird, finally out of its cage, swoops toward those still caged with cries of protest and relentless pecking at the gates of oppression.

Maya Angelou Biography (Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Maya Angelou was born (as Marguerite Johnson) in St. Louis, Missouri, and spent time as a young girl in Arkansas (in Stamps, near Hope, where Clinton grew up) and California. She was raped at the age of eight by her mother’s boyfriend (a story that is retold in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), had a son by the time she was sixteen, and worked at a number of jobs before she became an artist. In her early career, she was a singer and actress, appearing in plays and musicals around the world through the 1950’s and 1960’s. She has since directed plays and films, recorded music and spoken word, and appeared on television as both a narrator and a series host. She has also taught at various American universities since the 1960’s and at Wake Forest University since 1981. She has been an outspoken advocate of civil and human rights most of her adult life, and she has lectured and written widely about these issues for decades.

Maya Angelou Biography (Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

Before her first autobiographical work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published, Maya Angelou had a richly varied, difficult life. Her work has made her one of the most important African American female voices in the twentieth century. All of her writing is steeped in recollection of African American slavery and oppression. It also includes frank discussion of the physical and psychological pain of child abuse, the sexual anxieties of adolescence, unmarried motherhood, drug abuse, unhappy marriage, and divorce.

In Gather Together in My Name, Angelou struggles as a single mother to raise her son, while earning a living as Creole cook, army enlistee, madam, and prostitute. In Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, she becomes a singer and an exotic dancer in San Francisco before joining the traveling cast of a George Gershwin musical on a twenty-two-nation tour. In The Heart of a Woman, she describes her later work as northern coordinator of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, her frustrations with American racism and yearnings for her African roots lead her to a four-year stay in Ghana.

In her writings Angelou describes racism, prejudice, oppression, and other social ills. She comes to know males as pimps, drug pushers, occasional lovers, traditional and untraditional husbands, and Muslim polygamists. Angelou responds to these experiences with an increasing sense of what it means to be an African American woman in the twentieth century. In Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Angelou offers her philosophy of life based upon tolerance and respect for diversity.

Maya Angelou Biography (Poets and Poetry in America)

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson, re-christened Maya, and taking the professional name Angelou (an adaptation of the name of her first husband, Tosh Angelos), Maya Angelou studied music and dance with Martha Graham, Pearl Primus, and Ann Halprin. Her early career was as an actress and singer, to which she quickly added the roles of civil rights worker (as the northern coordinator for the SCLC, 1959-1960), editor (as associate editor for the Arab Observer, 1961-1962), educator (beginning with the School of Music and Drama at the University of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies, 1963-1966), and finally writer—first as a reporter for the Ghanaian Times (1963-1965). During the late 1960’s and 1970’s, she taught at many colleges and universities in California and Kansas, accepting the post of Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University in 1981. Since then she has also been a sought-after speaker.

She has told much of her own life’s story in her five-volume autobiography. Undoubtedly, Angelou’s legacy will be her writings: Although the best-selling I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was censored, her excellent work as an author in all genres has kept her story before the world. Angelou’s early years have been burned into the minds of numerous readers. An image from this work centers on three-year-old Marguerite and four-year-old Bailey Johnson aboard a train, alone, traveling from California to their grandmother’s home in Stamps, Arkansas, after the breakup of their parents’ marriage. The two children wore their names and their destination attached to their clothes. This locomotive quest for family is both a factual part of and an apt metaphor for the life of the world-famous poet. Her first feeling of being truly at home, she has said, came in Africa, after she accompanied her second husband to Egypt and then traveled to Ghana.

A second image from Angelou’s childhood involves the seven-year-old’s rape by her mother’s boyfriend. When no legal punishment followed, the rapist was murdered, possibly by the victim’s uncles. Guilt following this incident drove Angelou inward, and she began reading the great works of literature. Reading her way through the Stamps library, she fell in love with William Shakespeare and Paul Laurence Dunbar, among others. The child of a fractured nuclear family came to see herself as a child of the fractured human family.

By age thirteen, Angelou had grown closer to her mother; at sixteen she became a mother herself. To earn a living for herself and her son, Guy, she became a waitress, a singer, and a dancer. These and other occupations were followed by acting, directing, producing, and the hosting of television specials. She loved to dance, but when her knees began to suffer in her early twenties, she devoted her attention to her other love: writing. She began supporting herself through her writing in 1968. Her family came to include “sister friends” and “brother friends,” as her troubled brother Bailey became lost in the worlds of substance abuse and prison. She married, but she has refused to attach a number to her marriages, as that might, she says, suggest frivolity, and she insists that she was never frivolous about marriage. To “brother friend” James Baldwin she gives much credit for her becoming an autobiographer. She assisted “brother friends” Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X in their work and pursued her own work to better the entire human family.

The hope that Angelou found so significant in the 1960’s is reflected in the poem she composed for Clinton’s presidential inauguration. The dream of King is evident in the words written and delivered by Angelou “on the pulse of [that] morning.”

Maya Angelou Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Maya Angelou (AN-juh-lew) is a modern-day Renaissance woman. As a writer, she is best known for her autobiographies, particularly I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and for her collections of poetry, but she also has gained prominence through her playwriting, directing, acting, dancing, and involvement in civil rights movements. She was born Marguerite Johnson, in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon the breakup of her parents’ marriage, she was sent by her mother to Stamps, Arkansas, where she lived with her paternal grandmother, Ann Henderson. These years are chronicled in the first volume of Angelou’s autobiography, and they include both typical and atypical experiences of growing up, from the time that Angelou imposed silence upon herself to the time she graduated from Lafayette Training School, aware of the racial prejudice that had prevented her from aspiring to more than an education in a vocational school.{$S[A]Johnson, Marguerite;Angelou, Maya}

After graduation, Angelou moved to San Francisco to live with her mother. There she gave birth to a son, studied dance and drama, and began a career as a performer. In the 1950’s, she performed in nightclubs in San Francisco and New York and toured Europe and Africa as a member of a company staging the opera Porgy and Bess. In the 1960’s, at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Following this experience, she lived in Ghana, where she was a reporter for the Ghanian Times, a writer for Radio Ghana, an editor of the African Review, and an assistant administrator at the University of Ghana. In 1970, she published the first (and the most famous) of a series of autobiographies.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings takes its title from a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar that includes the lines: “I know why the caged bird sings, ah me/ When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore.” The poet Dunbar and the autobiographer Angelou both explore the feeling of entrapment, a caged-in experience particular to the black man and woman learning to survive. Angelou continued to explore the realities of oppression and survival in the autobiographies written after I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Between 1974 and 1986, she wrote four more memoirs—Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes. She also published collections of autobiographical essays, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now and A Song Flung Up to Heaven. She has made hundreds of television appearances and has been among the most popular and best-paid speakers on the college lecture circuit. Her stature was such by the 1990’s that President Bill Clinton selected her to read “On the Pulse of Morning” at his 1993 inauguration.

Angelou’s writings contain a mixture of poetry, prose, and drama. In addition to this mixture of genres, the works demonstrate a combination of comedy and drama, from anecdotes that reveal humorous incidents associated with childhood experiences to passages that suggest the dramatic intensity of growing up black and female in a racist, sexist South. Like the painter who mixes colors to achieve a unique hue, Angelou’s mix results in a particular voice that sings of slavery and survival, of hatred and love, and of darkness and illumination.

Her most significant work, and the one that best demonstrates this unique voice, is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Both popular and academic audiences have identified this autobiography as one of the finest of its kind, a memoir that speaks of the unique experience of Maya Angelou while at the same time offering a universal story of maturation. The other autobiographies have not been received so enthusiastically and are sometimes criticized for lacking the complexities and depth of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The same criticism is frequently leveled against Angelou’s poetry, which, while entertaining, is not always as compelling and complex as the first autobiography. Despite this mixed review of her later works, there is little question that both the quantity and quality of her work, particularly the quality of her first memoir, assure Maya Angelou a place in literary history.

Maya Angelou Biography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

ph_0111226208-Angelou.jpgMaya Angelou Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, Maya Angelou is the daughter of Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson. When her parents’ marriage ended in divorce, she was sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with her paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson. Maya was three years old, and she was joined by her brother Bailey, who gave her the name Maya.

Angelou graduated with top honors from the Lafayette County Training School in 1940 and was sent to the San Francisco Bay Area, where her mother had moved. Continuing her education at George Washington High School, she also attended evening classes at the California Labor School, where she had a scholarship to study drama and dance. Shortly after receiving her high school diploma, she had a son, Guy Bailey Johnson. She began a career as a professional entertainer in the 1950’s as a singer-dancer at the Purple Onion, a cabaret in California. She was invited to audition for a production of Porgy and Bess (1935) and did, in fact, receive a part in that George Gershwin musical, giving her the opportunity to travel widely with the cast in 1954 and 1955. In 1957, she appeared in the Off-Broadway play Calypso Heatwave and recorded “Miss Calypso” for Liberty Records.

Three years later, Angelou and her son moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild and collaborated to produce, direct, and star in Cabaret for Freedom, which raised funds for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Upon the close of that show, she became Northern coordinator for the SCLC at the invitation of Martin Luther King, Jr., with whom she worked.

Inspired by King and other civil rights leaders, she decided to move to Africa, ostensibly so that her son could be educated in Ghana. While living there, she served as assistant administrator of the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama and also worked for the Ghanaian Broadcasting Corporation and as a freelance writer for the Ghanaian Times.

In subsequent years, Angelou performed in various theater productions, adapted plays for the stage, and contributed to the performing arts in multiple ways. She performed in Jean Genet’s The Blacks in 1960 (joining a cast of stars that included James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson) and adapted Sophocles’ Ajax for its 1974 premiere performance at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She also wrote the screenplays Georgia, Georgia (1972) and All Day Long (1974). Her television appearances include playing the role of Kunta Kinte’s grandmother in 1977’s Roots, serving as a guest interviewer on Assignment America, and appearing in a special series on creativity hosted by Bill Moyers.

Her most important contributions, however, are her writings. In 1970, she began a series of autobiographies with her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was followed by subsequent autobiographies and several volumes of poetry. In 1993, she became only the second poet to read at a presidential inauguration when she read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration ceremony. Since then, she has written more poems and books, including children’s books, a cookbook, and Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging (2005). She has appeared in numerous television programs. Currently, she is a coveted speaker and gives numerous interviews in which she promotes her activism.

Angelou is the recipient of more than four dozen honorary degrees and numerous literary awards, among them the North Carolina Award in Literature and a lifetime appointment as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Other honors include an appointment by Present Jimmy Carter to the commission of the International Women’s Year; her recognition by Ladies’ Home Journal as Woman of the Year in communications in 1975; and her reception, in 1983, of the Matrix Award in the field of books from the Women in Communications. Her additional awards include the Medal of Distinction from the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in 1994; a Gold Plaque Choice Award from the Chicago International Film Festival in 1998 for Down in the Delta; an Alston/Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award in 1998; a Sheila Award from the Tubman African American Museum in 1999; recognition as one of the one hundred best writers of the twentieth century from Writer’s Digest in 1999; a National Medal of the Arts in 2000; and a Grammy Award in 2002 for her recording of A Song Flung Up to Heaven. Various buildings have been named after her, including the Maya Angelou Public Charter School Agency in Washington, D.C., and the Maya Angelou Southeast Library in Stockton, California. On May 6, 2005, Angelou delivered the commencement address at Michigan State University’s undergraduate convocation ceremony, at which she was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

Maya Angelou Biography (Nonfiction Classics for Students)

When Maya Angelou was three and her brother, Bailey, was four, her parents divorced and shipped the two young children to live with their...

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