Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson, was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis Missouri. Soon after, she was raised in Stamps Arkansas. Her childhood was very difficult. She faced challenges that affected her way of thinking and confidence. At age three, her parents split and she and her brother Baily were forced to be raised by their paternal grandmother Annie Henderson.
Discrimination was very prominent during this time and Ms. Angelou was no stranger to it. Despite undergoing constant hate and judgment, her grandmother taught her to turn the other cheek by instilling faith, values, religion, and southern hospitality in her. Her grandmother used to serve meals to workers as a means of supporting her famly. Mrs. Henderson eventually saved enough money to open her own grocery store “Johnson Grocery Store”, where Angelou, brother Baily, and her uncle Willie helped. In spite of racial tension during that time period, the store served both African Americans and Caucasians.
Maya Angelou was very close to her brother Bailey and uncle as they provided love and served as a safety net. It was said that her brother was small in size but made up for it in his huge confidence and personality. He had a stuttering problem so he would call her “MyMy’ (short for my sister)...
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...dition to her performances, she has been in films and television shows such as Sesame Street and Oprah, produced soundtracks, traveled and lives abroad, spoken at presidential inaugurations, has been presented with over 50 doctoral degrees, and has been awarded by President Barak Obama. These are only a few things she achieved in her lifetime.
Maya Angelou died on May 28th, 2014 in Winston Salem, North Carolina at age 86. Angelou’s work is now taught globally in workshops and schools. She once said "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life 's a bitch. You 've got to go out and kick ass." From all her successes we can see she took that advice and ran with it. Angelou has left behind a legacy that has swayed many generations. For that reason she will forever be recognized as one of the greatest influences in African American history.
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