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"Author Summary on Maya Angelou"
Author Summary on Maya Angelou
Gabrielle Gooch
Marguerite Johnson, also known as Maya Angelou, was born in St. Louis, Missouri

to Bailey and Vivian Baxter, on April 4, 1928. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps,

Arkansas. She is a critically acclaimed author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright,

dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer and civil rights activist.

At the age of three years old, Marguerite's parents divorced and sent her and her

brother Bailey to live with their grandparents in Stamps, Arkansas. In 1936 she was

traumatized by a sexual assault at the age of eight years old. From this traumatic Mar-

-guerite immersed herself into silence, refraining from speaking to anyone except her

brother Bailey.

In 1939, she finally broke her silence and moved to San Francisco with her mother

and Bailey. In 1945, her son Guy was born. Marguerite raised him as a single parent.

Then in 1952 she married Tosh Angelos. In 1953 she adopted the stage name Maya

Angelou (a nickname her brother Bailey called her in childhood, and Angelou was a

corruption of her married name).

Angelou later internationally toured in chorus with Everyman's Opera Company pro-

-duction of Porgy and Bess. She later began to write lyrics, which later turn into poetry

and short stories. Her singing career begins to blossom and she moves to Brooklyn, New

York to join the Harlem Writers Guild.

At the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Angelou became the northern

coordinator for SCLC, Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She moved to Africa

with her son Guy and South African freedom fighter Vusumi Make. She becomes an

associate editor for Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt. She served as assistant administrator

at the school of Music and Drama, University of Ghana.

In 1968 her 10-show series, "Black, Blues, Black", was produced on San Francisco

National Educational Television. She accepted a lifetime appointment in 1981 as

Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem,

North Carolina. In 1993,...

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