Dr. Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis Missouri; April 4, 1928 by the name of Marquerite Ann Johnson. This phenomenal woman was a Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Dancer, Film Producer, Television Producer, Playwright, Film Director, Author, Actress and a Professor. The first of seven books “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was published in “1968” and, she has been presented with over 30 honorary doctoral degrees.
In “1993”, she became the second poet in history, first African American and first woman to recite her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Elect William (Bill) Clinton’s, Presidential Inauguration. In “1964” she assisted Malcom X with establishing the “Organization of Afro – American Unity”, after her return from Accra, Ghana where she worked as an administrative assistant at the University of Ghana. This is mention of only a portion of the astonishing accomplishments of Dr. Maya Angelou. Listening to Dr. Angelou speak was a gift, her oral presentation had the ability to cut to the core of your being, while soothing the wound.
She taught many women to honor themselves and, a Nation the importance of, the acceptance of differences. Before she reached the iconic status of today, Dr. Angelou was a single mother who worked in a mechanic shop, was a fry cook and a dancer, singer of calypso music. Her Volumes of Poetry include: “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water “fore I Diiie” (1971), “Oh Pray That My Wings will Fit Me Well” (1975), “And Still I Rise” (1978), “Shaker, why Don’t You Sing” (1983). We are fortunate to have had an opportunity to experience the graces of an extraordinary woman such as Dr. Maya Angelou, her memory will forever be with us.