Essay On Maya Angelou

1635 Words 7 Pages
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928 to Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson. When her parents divorce, Angelou and her brother were sent to live with their grandmother, Annie Henderson, in Stamps,Arkansas. Angelou’s grandmother, who she called “Momma,” was the stable force in Angelou’s early life. Annie Henderson was a strong religious woman who made sure that the family went to church every Sunday. Religion and spiritual music were important in the Johnson family life. Angelou had a close relationship with her brother Bailey, who gave her the name “Maya.” Angelou and her brother lived with their grandmother and their uncle named Willie in the back of the Johnson store, which Annie Henderson had owned for twenty-five years. Because the store was the center of activity for the black community, Angelou saw at first hand the indignities that black residents suffered as a result of the prejudices of the white community in Stamps.

Angelou was a victim of violence at an early age. During one of her visits to her mother in St.
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Throughout her career she has continued to draw on her own experiences as the subject matter for her work. She has published four more volumes of her personal narrative showing how she was able to overcome obstacles posed by her race and gender to achieve success in many areas. In Gather Together in My Name (1974), Angelou writes about a difficult period in her life, a time when she was forced to work at menial jobs to support herself and her son. In Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976), Angelou describes her life as a dancer and actress, including her travels with the cast of Porgy and Bess. The next two volumes, The Heart of a Woman (1981) and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986) the rise of her

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