The extra-ordinary LIFE of Maya Angelou

by Staff writer

Google’s latest Doodle pays tribute to one of the foremost African-American creative voices of the 20th century, Dr Maya Angelou.

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St Louis, Missouri, she was rendered mute for seven years after being sexually assaulted as a child by her mother’s boyfriend, devoting herself to reading and falling in love with literature after it gave her the courage to rediscover her voice and overcome the trauma.

Best remembered for her autobiographical novel I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, published in 1969, and classic poem “Still I Rise“, which both brought her international recognition and acclaim.

As a young woman she was a mother, a fry cook, a prostitute, a brothel madam, San Francisco’s first black female streetcar conductor, a nightclub calypso dancer, etc!

In 1962, Angelou moved to Accra, Ghana with her son so he could attend college.

When he got seriously injured in an automobile accident, Angelou remained in Accra for his recovery and ended up staying there until 1965.

Angelou was the first poet since Robert Frost in 1961 to recite at a US presidential inauguration when she read her verse “On the Pulse of Morning” as Bill Clinton was sworn in at the White House in 1992.

The recording of the poem won a Grammy Award.

Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Clinton all spoke at her memorial after she passed away in 2014.

Throughout her life, Angelou was given a multitude of awards, including over thirty honorary degrees from colleges and universities all over the world.

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