Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928 and became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time.
Angelou’s rich legacy spans through her several volumes of poetry that explored the South, racial confrontation, and the triumph of black people against overwhelming odds. She also worked to bring more realistic portrayals of African Americans to film and television screens. Her influences broke racial barriers and proved how capable a women of color can be.
With over 50 honorary doctorate degrees Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
Here are 6 Crowning Achievements of Dr. Angelou.
- As a civil rights activist, she organized with Dr. King and served on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Her later works would cement Angelou as a voice for the rights of all citizens of her world.
- Her groundbreaking memoir ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ became an instant bestseller and is ranked one of the most influential books of modern times.
- She was the first Black woman to write a screenplay for a major film release, ‘Georgia, Georgia’ (1972).
- In 1993 Angelou became the first Black American and female inaugural poet in U.S. presidential history.
- She was awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States.
- Maya Angelou is the first Black woman on a US Quarter; the first in a series of coins commemorating pioneering American women and their contributions to American history.
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