Celebrating Maya Angelou

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You’ve likely heard of Maya Angelou, but do you know what she went through before she became a household name? Maya Angelou was a black, female author, singer, and activist who underwent an extremely difficult upbringing but managed to strike inspiration in the hearts of many. She was born in and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She was born on April 4, 1928, and at a young age her parents split up. She was shipped off to live with her grandmother, who helped her become the person she was. Unfortunately, while on a trip to see her mother, her mom’s boyfriend raped her. She was only 8 years old. She testified against him in court, and her uncles on the other side beat him to death. She was devastated and believed that she called upon his death by speaking against him. Angelou refused to speak for five whole years after this event. Then she went to high school and started talking again. She gave birth to a son as a teen mom at age sixteen. After all this trauma, in 1950 she married Tosh Angelos. Sadly, the marriage lasted only a few years. But that was when Angelou’s life really started. She went to school and wrote I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1970). It became a hit! Then, her poetry started becoming popular. She got a nomination for National Book Award, then won a Pulitzer Prize nomination, then multiple Tony Awards for her work in theater. Angelou died in 2014 after becoming famous for her amazing poetry and inspiring demeanor. She’s inspiring because she overcame all of her trauma and became someone that is a role model to many.