No introduction needed. This amazing woman, Maya Angelou has now entered the non physical realm. She leaves this planet with those of us remaining all the richer for her poems and books. Her autobiography released in 1969 , ‘ I know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ was acclaimed worldwide. As appalling as some of her experiences were in her book, her story’s success was a hallmark of her greatest gift – the ability to use language to transcend barriers.
In this video she shares her original poem ‘ Still I Rise”.
The details of Angelou’s early life have been the subject of countless high school essays, but her incredible journey bears repeating. At the age of three, her parents divorced and she and her brother were sent to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. At eight, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. After she revealed to her family that she had been assaulted, her attacker was killed. The news of the murder shocked Angelou into silence for the next six years, during which she would communicate only by scribbling messages on a tablet she kept on her hip. During that time, she cultivated a love for writing and reading, working her way through the shelves of her school library and falling in love especially with poetry. (At one point she memorized 75 Shakespearean sonnets.)
When she finally emerged from silence, she did so with aplomb, focusing her energy on dance and theater. At age 16, however, her plans were put on hold when she gave birth to her son, Guy. Eventually, she rekindled her stage career and, by the mid-50s, she was touring around the world as part of a production of Porgy and Bess. (thanks to Biology.com for this information).
Yes indeed Maya Angelou was an extraordinary woman. A poet and author who touched millions of hearts world wide.