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Transcript of Maya Angelou
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Who Is Maya Angelou?
Maya Angelou is a greatly known poet, actress, historian, novelist, producer and civil rights activist.
Her most famous work is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which she wrote in 1969.
Started writing in 1961 for the Ghanaian Times
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was her first book written in 1970
She was born April 4, 1928 in Saint Louis, Missouri (85)
She had one son named Guy Johnson and he was born in 1944
Maya Angelou attended California Labor School and George Washington High School
Her occupations were writer, actress, screenwriter, author, singer, dancer and is known as Hollywood’s first black female director.
She is credited with a list of screenplays, movies, and television shows that span more than 50 years.
Some of her famous works include Georgia, Georgia, How Do You Spell God?, Sister, Sister, and Poetic Justice
Angelou is still writing and is still alive and well.
She was married three times
-Paul de Feu (m. 1973-1981)
-Vusumzi Make (m. 1960-1963)
-Enistasious Tosh Angelos (1951-1954)
Angelou was cuddled then raped by her mother’s boyfriend when she was only 7 years old
What was his or her social-economic status as a child – rich, poor, educated, etc?
Angelou was born at a time when blacks did not have rights. She was fairly poor and was able to grow up and be able to receive 50 honorary degrees and is a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
What challenges did this person face while growing up?
She grew up in a segregated town and her parents divorced at a very young age so her and her brother were separated from their parents and they went to live with someone they referred to as mommy.
When she was raped at seven, she wouldn’t talk for the next five years because she thought his murder was her fault.
What privileges did this person enjoy while growing up?
After being silent for five years, Maya Angelou got the help of Mrs. Flowers to get her confidence and voice back.
Angelou had a harsh childhood and living with her mother was constant disorder. Living with her mother became too much for her and she ran away to be with her father and his girlfriend.
Life would soon become more of a struggle when Angelou found out she was sixteen and pregnant.
Angelou became part of the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and other advocates of the movements.
Maya’s son, Guy, was in a car crash which injured his spinal chord and he was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors hooked up to numerous machines in hopes of saving his life and when Angelou came to visit, Guy begged her to end his life. Thankfully, Guy was able to walk out of the hospital. However, he still feels and suffers from the side effects of the accident.
Important Characteristics/Qualities about Maya Angelou!
She was very outgoing and willing to accept a challenge.
Accomplished African American writer, dancer, singer, actress and director.
A civil activists.
Spoke different languages along with her English, such as French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Fanti.
Why I admire Maya Angelou.
I admire that no matter how hard things got Angelou always held her head high and kept fighting. Ignoring what people may have said about her race or gender she stood up for what she believed and fought for the rights that she deserved. Maya Angelou is a brave and very influential women.
Even though Maya Angelou has been through a lot of hard times she kept her head held high. Even when she was a single mother and had to find a way to take care of her child she was always strong. Angelou didn't let growing up poor stop her from achieving her dreams and went on to do amazing things with her life.
Kurkowski, Clifford J. “Classifying Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” May 2004. The University of Wisconsin. web. mindspring.com. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.mindspring.com/~blkgrnt/footlights/foot76.html>
“Maya Angelou Biography.” Maya Angelou Global Renaissance Woman. web. mayaangelou.com. 10 Mar. 2014
“Maya Angelou Reception: Dr. Angelou speaks” Flicker.cc 12 Apr. 2007. web. flicker.cc 10 Mar. 2014 <http://farm1.static.flickr.com/236/462790571_1f6ea0b5c7_m.jpg>
“Red Heart” Walls for pc. 11 Oct. 2011. wallsforpc.com 10. Mar. 2014
"Maya Angelou." achievement. Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. n.d. Web. 11. March. 2014. <http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/pagegen/sponsors/index.html>
Maya Angelou On The American Dream
-What was happening in the United States and in the world at the time the author wrote about the American Dream?
Would you say that this author felt satisfied that he or she had personally achieved the American dream?
Yes, she believed that freedom was the main object of the American Dream. She thought the American Dream meant to be able to do anything you want to. Maya's freedom was limited in the beginning of her life, but she became older and did everything she had dreams of doing.
Maya wrote about the American Dream in her book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. In the time period of this book there was segregation, World War II and The Great Depression.
"The American Dream, whether attainable or not, is to have freedom, freedom in all things. To go as far as ambition impels us, in work, in play, and religion and even in love.
I think that is what sent the first pioneers away from Europe and caused them to struggle with the Native Americans here and caused them to bring people, unwillingly from Africa, to indulge in slavery, and it is what caused the slaves to struggle against slavery.
Everyone is looking for freedom, freedom to live their lives, to control their own destiny."
She became San Francisco’s first African American female cable car conductor.
She toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess in 1954 and 1955.
She recorded her first record album, Calypso Lady (1957).
She acted in the historic Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's The Blacks and wrote and performed a Cabaret for Freedom with the actor and comedian Godfrey Cambridge.
In Cairo, Angelou served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer.
She served as an instructor and assistant administrator at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama.
She worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times and the Ghanaian Broadcasting Company.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published in 1970
She wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the film Georgia, Georgia (1972).
Her screenplay, the first by an African American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
In 2000, Dr. Angelou was honored with the Presidential Medal of the Arts; she received the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal in 2008. S
he narrated the award-winning documentary film The Black Candle and published a book of guidance for young women.
In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Main Accomplishments of Maya Angelou
She was a very successful playwright and actress. She brought entertainment to society. She was active in the civil right movements as well as author.
Angelou's long career also included poetry, plays, screenplays for television and film, directing, acting, and public speaking.
Maya had a close relationship with her brother Bailey. Bailey was unable to pronounce her name because of a slutter. Bailey called her “My” for “My sister.” A few years later, he read a book about the Maya indians, he began calling her “Maya.”
Maya went to visit her mother in Chicago when she was seven. She was sexually molested by her mom’s boyfriend. She found out later in the news that an uncle had killed the man who molested her.
She did not speak for five year because she felt that her words had killed the man. She began speaking again at age 13.
She became pregnant in her senior year of high school and graduated a few weeks before giving birth to her son Guy.
In 1952, she married a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelopulos.
Angelou has been invited by Presidents of the United States to serve in various capacities
President Ford appointed her to the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and President Carter invited her to serve on the Presidential Commission for the International Year of the Woman. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993.
What novels did this person write that involved the American Dream? Describe them: which characters worked toward the American dream, why, and how?
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Both Maya and the rest of the black community worked towards the American dream. Maya actually worked hands on with people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Why do you think the author used the American dream idea in his or her writing?
To show just how bad they wanted to achieve their American dream to show the world that they are people too.
How did using the idea of the American dream help create interesting or uninteresting characters?
Some people use their actions, like rioting and petitioning, to further their want and their purpose to show they wanted equal rights.
“Maya Angelou.”Photograph. Commons Wikimedia. Mediawiki, 17 Nov 2007. Web. 10 Mar 2014, <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maya_angelou.jpg>
“Angelou Poem.” Photograph. Commons Wikimedia. Mediawiki, 21 April 2009. Web 10 Mar 2014, <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angeloupoem.jpg>
“Segregation 1938.” Photograph. Commons Wikimedia. Mediawiki, 23 Sept 2008. Web. 10 Mar 2014, <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Segregation_1938b.jpg>