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Maya Angelou

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Mikaila LaClear

on 10 May 2014

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Transcript of Maya Angelou

Important Characteristics

Creative Aspect
Reference List
Important Events
Phenomenal Woman
body positivity and beauty standards for women
tribute to the strong women in her life
writes about her characteristics that might not be seen as the traits of society’s "perfect" girl
“I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion models size. But when I start to tell them they think I’m telling lies”
embraces her body and does not care what anyone says
realizes she is not built dainty and small like women are expected
she loves herself the way she is
“The fellows stand or fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, a hive of honey bees”
knows she doesn't have to live up to unrealistic beauty standards
men still love her and she knows it and embraces it
Every stanza ends with, “I’m a woman Phenomomenally Phenomenal Woman, that’s me"
became the woman she described in the poem
convinced herself she was nothing less than phenomenal
Angelou's Mother and Grandmother
was raised by Grandma but knew Mother very well
both women made large impacts on her life
helped to shape her into who she is
both were amazing and helped Maya realize she was too
Maya Angelou
More events!
No No No No
Historical/Social Context
Great Depression
she was only young child, effected her Grandmother's store
Racial Discrimination
Slavery had long ended, but the country was still segregated
growing up surrounded by racism
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights activist her whole life
met Malcolm X
was close with Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife
1st wave of Feminism
feminine empowerment
("Phenomenal Woman")
Modern Era Poet

Born April 4th, 1928
Sexually abused 1937
Mute until 1942
Pregnant with her son, Guy 1943
Married Tosh Angelos 1952
Recorded Calypso Lady
1970 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is published
1973 Maya Angelou married Paul du Feu
1974 Published Gather Together in My Name
1976 Published Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas
1981 Published The Heart of a Woman
1997 Published All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
2002 Published A Song Flung Up to Heaven
1970 Receives the Chubb Fellowship Award, Yale University
1972 Receives the Pulitzer Prize Nomination for Just Give Me A Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die
1976 Receives the Ladies' Home Journal Award ("Woman of the Year in Communication")
1977 Receives the Golden Eagle Award, Afro-American in the Arts
1986 Receives Fulbright Program 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer award
1991 Receives Langston Hughes Medal
1993 Grammy for "Best Spoken Word Album," "On The Pulse of Morning,"
1996 Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Association National Award
2008 Becomes the first recipient of Hope for Peace and Justice Voice of Peace award
In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Wrote in Modern Era

-Focus on indivudual
Maya Angelou wrote several autobiographies, and most of her poetry is about herself, or others she had personal relationships with.
-Break out of Minority writers
Not only is Maya Angelou African American, but she is also a woman which in the society she grew up in, being a black woman meant having double the flaws.
-Depressing, personal stories
In Maya Angelou's novels and poetry, she talks about horrific personal events during her adult hood as well as her childhood that made an impact on her.

Although Feminism is not an aspect of the modernist writing
style, Maya Angelou was very outspoken about female empowerment.

Racism is also a common subject in Maya Angelou's poetry
since she has had plenty of personal experience with prejudice. The way she talks about this subject, along with rape culture, is full of hatred almost as if she is spitting the words out in disgust.
*aka the cutest woman in the world*
Writing was the way Maya let out her frustrations in a non violent but creative way.
After the sexual assault Maya had a lot of pent up emotions and no way to let them out.
"No No No No" is about rape and or non-consent
Very hateful tone, speaks from real life experience
"While crackling babies in napalm coats stretch mouths to receive burning tears on splitting tongues."
The baby Maya refers to is herself because she was only five years old when she was raped.
"What more can I do? I'll never be black like you"
Due to the radical racism she endured as a child, she heard the term "black" as an insult, and this is reflected in multiple poems she has written.
"the dream that you will cease haunting me down in fetid swamps of fear and will turn to embrace your own humanity"
The sexual assault affected Maya through out her childhood and her adulthood, even though her rapist was long gone, she still had fear of him somehow returning, or the same thing happening again by the hand of someone else.
A Prezi by: Grace McElhone & Mikaila LaClear
Full transcript