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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Transcript of Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Young Maya Angelou
How did her career start
Aneglou defied simple labels. She was a walking list of careers and passions: in addition to her books, she was an actress, director, playwright, composer, singer and dancer. And if that wasn't enough, she once worked as a madam in a brothel and as the first female and first black street car conductor in San Francisco.
Her early childhood was grim. She was 3 years old when her parents divorced in Long Beach, Calif. Her father sent her and her 4-year-old brother alone by train to live with his mother in segregated Stamps, Ark., "a town almost that size," as Angelou put it.At 7, as she later wrote, she went to St. Louis to visit her mother, who was "too beautiful to have children." Angelou described how she was first lovingly cuddled, then raped by her mother's boyfriend, "a breaking and entering when even the senses are torn apart."
When the man was murdered by her uncles, Angelou felt responsible. She stopped talking to everyone but her brother for five years, even as she came to love stories and poems, reading everyone from Langston Hughes to Charles Dickens.
Finally, at 12, a teacher got her to speak again. She described the joy she found in a classroom: "I see all those little faces and big eyes. Black and white. They look like sparrows in the nest. They look up, with their mouths wide open and I try to drop in everything I know."
In 1954, she toured the world in the cast of Porgy and Bess. In 1960, she and comedian Godfrey Cambridge produced and starred in Cabaret Freedom, a benefit performance for Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She later served as its Northern coordinator.
From 1963 to 1966, she taught music and dance at the University of Ghana. In 1977, she was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Roots, the TV miniseries.
She also wrote nine children's books, 13 collections of poetry, four collections of essays, adapted I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for CBS in 1979, narrated the 1996 video, Elmo Saves Christmas, and complied a cookbook in 2004, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table.
She dedicated her 1993 essay collection, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, to Oprah Winfrey, who hosted grand birthday parties for Angelou. In 1997, Oprah's Book Club chose Angelou's The Heart of a Woman, the fourth of her memoirs.
In A Song Flung Up to Heaven, she circled back to the events that led her to begin her first book and dealt with the assassinations of Malcolm X in 1965 and King in 1968. (She knew them both.)
Each of her books "took on a life of its own," she said. But at the end, she wanted to avoid "writing about writing. Unless you're Marcel Proust, that would be dense."
She split her time between a restored 12-room townhouse in Harlem, and an 18-room house in Wake Forest, N.C.
Even after writing six books about her life, Angelou carefully guarded her privacy. After two divorces, she would say little about a man she never married, a South African freedom fighter she called "my great love."
In the early '60s, they lived together in Egypt, where she worked as a journalist. "He was the man I felt had taken the heart out of my body and worn it boldly on his shoulder like an epaulette, and I had adored him," she wrote, but he goes unnamed in A Song Flung Up to Heaven.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Maya Angelou was the greatest black female poet. Angelou is best known for her award-winning writing, Including I know why the caged bird sings. She was known throughout the world from her poetic heart and obvious talent. She was also given the chance to have a school named after her. I know that Maya Angelou was the greatest writer i've ever seen she had amazing talent as a writer and great personality i absolutely loved all her books especially " Letters to my daughter".
Famous Black Poet Dies