Projecting Our Sheroes : Maya Angelou

By Onozasi

Projecting Our Sheroes

World-renowned Maya Angelou was born in America in April 1928. She was a renowned writer, Poet, poet, singer, memoirist, and Civil right activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.

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 Malcom X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frostat the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.

Marguerite 'Maya' Angelou

Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life via her publication I Know Caged Bird Sings. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defence of black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide, she made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books centre on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.

In late 2010, Angelou donated her personal papers and career memorabilia to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. They consisted of more than 340 boxes of documents that featured her handwritten notes on yellow legal pads for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a 1982 telegram from Coretta Scott King, fan mail, and personal and professional correspondence from colleagues such as her editor Robert Loomis.

In 2011, Angelou served as a consultant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. She spoke out in opposition to a paraphrase of a quotation by King that appeared on the memorial, saying, “The quote makes Dr Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit”, and demanded that it be changed. Eventually, the paraphrase was removed.
In 2013, at the age of 85, Angelou published the seventh volume of autobiography in her series, titled Mom & Me & Mom, which focuses on her relationship with her mother.

Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014.

We will never forget the timeless works of this Sheroe.
A woman who dared to dream.
A woman who stood up for justice, for women and girls.

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Source: Above Whispers

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