Title: Her Ascending Lark: A Brief Survey of the Life of Maya Angelou
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the significant hurdles Maya Angelou overcame to accomplish greatness
Central Idea: Maya Angelou was able to overcome numerous hurdles women of color faced in her day going on to become a revered and respected artist.
"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou: "You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I 'll rise. / Does my sassiness upset you? / Why are you beset with gloom? / 'Cause I walk like I 've got oil wells / Pumping in my living room. / Just like moons and like suns, / With the certainty of tides, / Just like hope springing high,…show more content… Body
I. After Angelou 's parents ' divorce, her father sent her and her brother to live with their grandmother and great-uncle in Stamps, Arkansas during the time Jim Crow Laws were implemented all throughout the South.
A. Jim Crow Laws were local and state legislation passed in 1877 and lasted until the 1960s that enforced racial segregation.
1. The NAACP reported that in the first 10 years of the implementation of Jim Crow, over 2,500 African-Americans were murdered by legal lynch mobs.
2. Angelou recalls in her book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," her grandmother hiding her disabled great-uncle from one of these same lynch mobs.
B. After spending four years in Stamps, Angelou would be sent back to St. Louis to live with her mother.
1. Shortly after moving back to St. Louis, Angelou was sexually assaulted by a man her mother was seeing at the time.
a. Perpetrator only spent one day in jail
b. Four days later he was found dead
2. Maya Angelou spent the next five years ' mute as a result for the trauma of the sexual assault and the guilt of the death of her perpetrator. a. "I thought my voice killed him… because I told his name… I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill…show more content… Shortly after the death of her perpetrator, Maya Angelou was sent back to Stamps until age the age of 14 when she would ultimately move back in with her mother in Oakland, California. 1. After Graduation, Maya Angelou would give birth to her first child Clyde. 2. During that time, to support her new baby, Maya Angelou became a prostitute.
Transition: Maya Angelou
III. Although, Maya Angelou had a turbulent childhood filled with constant moving, sexual assault, racism and even teen pregnancy those things never stopped her from achieving greatness.
A. Angelou 's most renown work is "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" written in 1969.
1. In the work, Maya Angelou tells the story of her childhood which up until then was rare if not exclusive. a. Hilton Als of the New Yorker states," black female authors were "relegated to the margins of life, they found it difficult to rewrite themselves as central characters."
B. In 1998 Angelou become the first black female director of a major motion picture.
1. "Down in the Delta" experienced success despite having a limited release.
C. Maya Angelou received numerous awards and has obtained over 50 honorary degrees.
Transition: Despite Maya Angelou’s early childhood hardships, she went on to be a