Angelou, Maya, 1928-2014Alternative names
Maya Angelou (b. Marguerite Annie Johnson, April 4, 1928, St. Louis, MO–d. May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, NC) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.
She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she was named the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
- Political activists
- College teachers
- Winston-Salem, NC, US
- United States, 00, US
- Saint Louis, MI, US