According to her website, Maya Angelou has over 50 honorary doctorate degrees. In her life, Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
On April 4 ,1928 in Saint Louis, Missouri Marguerite Annie Johnson (Maya Angelou) was born. She had a very hard childhood, she was abused by her mother's boyfriend and then became a mute after it happened. She did not go to college but she did take several courses. However, all this drama helped to inspire her books, such as ¨I know Why the Caged Birds Sing.¨
In 1940 Maya moved to San Francisco and became a cocktail waitress, a cook, and a dancer. She moved to New York in 1950 she found a talent for literary talents at the Harlem Talents Guild. She got a featured role in a state department production of George Gershwin's. As a dancer she got her professional name Maya Angelou. In 1961 she performed in Jean Genet's play, The Blacks. That same year she was persuaded by a South African dissident, to whom she was to marry, to move to Cairo where she worked for the Arab Observer. She later moved to Ghana and worked on the African review.
Maya became a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, despite her lack of college education. With her great literary skills she was able to write a poem called ¨On the Pulse of the Morning¨ for Bill Clinton's inauguration speech. After moving back to America, she was active in the civil rights movement. She was also the first African American to have a feature film based on her story. In 2011, Barack Obama gave her the medal of freedom which was one of the highest nominal honors. She died on May 28th, 2014 at age 86.
Story by Olivia Crosson