Maya Angelou is one of the most revered poets of her time, with the extraordinary ability to tell a story like no other. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928, Angelou grew up with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. She and her older brother Bailey resided with their father’s mother as their unstable parents separated when they were both very young (MayaAngelous.com). Angelou is a shining example of one’s potential to make good out of a shoddy upbringing. On one of the rare occasions when she visited her mother, she was raped by her live-in boyfriend. So traumatized by this experience, she spent the next few years as a virtual mute. Despite her difficult youth, Angelou managed to pull herself out of depression and speak once again (Biography.com). Now an admired entertainer and civil rights activist, Angelou overcame many obstacles standing in the way of her ambitions, such as the vast discrimination against blacks at that time, later saying “A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream” (Goodreads.com). Angelou’s sweeping contributions ex...
... middle of paper ...
... mistreated, and loved the unlovable. Angelou used her many talents to help repair the broken bonds between neighbors. The sympathy Angelou felt for all kinds of people in all walks of life attest to this great love. Maya Angelou truly inspires the defeated to love, through her work as a poet, and her work as a person.
"Inaugural Poem." Inaugural Poem. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
"Maya Angelou - Biography." Maya Angelou - Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2014.
"Maya Angelou Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
"Maya Angelou." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2014.
"Maya Angelou Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
"“A Person Is the Product of Their Dreams. So Make Sure to Dream Great Dreams.
And Then Try to Live Your Dream.”." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Maya Angelou’s third book of poetry And Still I Rise, the personal struggles of the African American Woman are brought to life through poetic works. With inspirations drawn from personal journeys of Maya Angelou herself, powerful poems praise, celebrate, and empathize with the feminine colored experience. Angelou’s writing sheds glaring light on themes of feminine power, beauty, and perseverance, raising the African American Woman to a pedestal that demands respect and adoration. For Angelou’s audience, the everyday woman is presented equipped with all the necessities to thrive and shine in the face of adversity.... [tags: Maya Angelou]
1752 words (5 pages)
- Poetry Analysis of Maya Angelou's Caged Bird ‘Caged Bird’ is a poem written by Maya Angelou which considers the conditions of the ‘free bird’ and the ‘caged bird’. Actually this contrast between the birds enables her to express her own emotions about freedom and isolation. The poem is quite symbolic so there are various hidden messages she tries to convey about her feelings mostly indirectly. In the first stanza Maya Angelou breathes life into her description of the ‘free bird’ by using verbs like ‘leaps’, ‘floats’, ‘dips’.... [tags: Poetry Analysis, Maya Angelou]
479 words (1.4 pages)
- Any girl could say she is a woman. It takes a strong woman to be a phenomenal woman. A phenomenal woman does not rely on others for financial, mental and social needs. A woman like this takes pride in her-self and doesn’t let anyone put her down. Throughout the times a woman strives for her independence to become her own individual in life. Phenomenal Woman, written by Maya Angelou, is a poem which is an anthem for all women’s strength in their own womanhood. (Angelou 1) The poem speaks out to us women as far as of where we are in society.... [tags: feminism, Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou, ]
565 words (1.6 pages)
- Maya Angelou: A Source of Humanity "I am human," Angelou said, "and nothing human can be alien to me" (Shafer). Maya Angelou just may be the most "human" person in the world. Indeed, with all of the struggles she went through in her early life, her humanness increasingly deepened. Her life was characterized by the instability of her childhood and her family, along with the challenge of being a black woman growing up in 19th century America. The deepness of her humanness is evident in all of her writings, from her autobiographies to her poetry.... [tags: Writer Maya Angelou Essays]
1332 words (3.8 pages)
- The inquiry of identity is both a philosophical and a psychological question. Identity is not only comprised of the characteristics that make individuals unique, but also includes external perceptions that classify groups of people together. It gives individuals a unique sense of self, and also lends itself to the application of labels and stereotypes. I believe identity is an integral part of human existence. It creates societies and distinguishes culture. It gives individuals a sense of community and self-worth.... [tags: Maya Angelou The Graduation]
1173 words (3.4 pages)
- This piece of autobiographical works is one of the greatest pieces of literature and will continue to inspire young and old black Americans to this day be cause of her hard and racially tense background is what produced an eloquent piece of work that feels at times more fiction than non fiction In 1970, a child with skinny legs and muddy skin was introduced into African American literature. Born marguerite Johnson she became known as Maya Angelou (Lupton 51). Her critically acclaimed works have changed the way of the African American autobiography is written.... [tags: Biography Maya Angelou]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Symbolism and Allusion in Maya Angelou's "My Arkansas" "There is a deep brooding/ in Arkansas." Arkansas is stuck in the past, its memories of hatred and crime from ante-bellum days hindering the progression towards Civil Rights. Maya Angelou's poem of the struggle to a new wave of equality uses both general symbolism and historical allusion to make its theme clear to the reader. The poem uses general symbolism in nature, in time, and historical allusion to make the theme clear in a concise but vibrant poem.... [tags: Maya Angelou My Arkansas]
808 words (2.3 pages)
- Rising Up in Still I Rise by Maya Angelou ?Still I Rise. by Maya Angelou is directed towards blacks on how to be proud of their ancestry, themselves, and their overall appearance. The poem is a special and motivating poem that African-Americans (and other races for that matter) should read and take to heart. According to African-Americans, Maya Angelou states that no matter what white Americans (slave owners) say or do to African-Americans (slaves) they can still rise up to make a better life for themselves and their race as a whole.... [tags: Papers Rising Up Maya Angelou]
634 words (1.8 pages)
- Distress in Maya Angelou's Life Marguerite Ann Johnson, commonly known as Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a famous African-American poet, novelist, and playwright and also worked during the civil rights: "Angelou is a very remarkable Renaissance woman who hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature" (www.mayaangelou.com). She is also an activist in civil-rights. Angelou went through many controversies during her childhood and adulthood; her romantic life was never joyful and there are questions that come consecutively in my mind: how does Angelou's "Artful Pose" demonstrates the attitude toward writing of her poetry.... [tags: Maya Angelou Biography Poet African American]
1173 words (3.4 pages)
- Maya Angelou A poet, an author, a play-write, an actress, a mother, a civil-rights activists, historian and most important a survivor. Perhaps Maya Angelou, award winning author of many books, is one of the most influential African Americans in American history. I believe that she rates at the top of the list of American authors, with Hemingway, Hawthorne, and Voight. I believe through my research and reading of Maya Angelou that she should be among the members of The American Authors Hall of Fame.... [tags: Poet biography bios Maya Angelou Essays]
1359 words (3.9 pages)