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Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 in Saint Louis, Missouri. At the age of 16, she became not only the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco but the first woman conductor. In the mid-1950s, she toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. In 1957, she recorded her first album, Calypso Lady. In 1958, she became a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and played a queen in The Blacks, an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet. In 1960, she moved to Cairo, where she edited The Arab Observer, an English-language weekly newspaper. The following year, she went to Ghana where she was features editor of The African Review and taught music and drama at the University of Ghana. In 1964, she moved back to the U.S. to become a civil rights activist by helping Malcolm X build his new coalition, the Organization of African American Unity, and became the northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Even though she never went to college, she taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. In 1993, she became only the second poet in United States history to write and recite an original poem at a Presidential Inauguration when she read On the Pulse of Morning at President Bill Clinton's Inauguration Ceremony. She wrote numerous books during her lifetime including: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, and Mom and Me and Mom. In 2011, President Barack Obama gave her the Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, for her collected works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. She appeared in the movie Roots and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1977 for her role in the movie. She also played a part in the movie, How to Make an American Quilt and wrote and produced Afro-Americans in the Arts, a PBS special for which she received a Golden Eagle Award. She was a three-time Grammy winner. She died on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
… (more)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 12,750 copies, 199 reviews
The Heart of a Woman 2,179 copies, 16 reviews
Gather Together in My Name 1,307 copies, 11 reviews
Letter to My Daughter 991 copies, 24 reviews
Maya Angelou: Poems 896 copies, 6 reviews
Even the Stars Look Lonesome 667 copies, 2 reviews
A Song Flung Up to Heaven 571 copies, 6 reviews
Mom & Me & Mom 544 copies, 46 reviews
And Still I Rise 458 copies, 15 reviews
Life Doesn't Frighten Me 412 copies, 20 reviews
On the Pulse of Morning 405 copies, 5 reviews
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem 334 copies, 10 reviews
I Shall Not Be Moved (Author) 301 copies, 5 reviews
The Poetry of Maya Angelou 97 copies, 1 review
Kofi and His Magic 95 copies, 1 review
Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me 77 copies, 4 reviews
Now Sheba Sings the Song 74 copies, 1 review
Shaker, Why Don't You Sing? 58 copies, 1 review
Love's Exquisite Freedom 14 copies, 2 reviews
Maya Angelou 4 copies, 1 review
Down in the Delta 4 copies, 1 review
Lady B 2 copies
Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography (Introduction) 1,187 copies, 15 reviews
The Best American Essays of the Century (Contributor) 691 copies, 4 reviews
Not Without Laughter (Introduction, some editions) 547 copies, 10 reviews
The Norton Book of Women's Lives (Contributor) 384 copies, 1 review
God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Introduction, some editions) 334 copies, 6 reviews
Soul Looks Back in Wonder (Contributor) 178 copies, 5 reviews
Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats (Foreword) 151 copies, 3 reviews
All the Colors of the Race (Narrator, some editions) 109 copies, 14 reviews
A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (Contributor) 99 copies, 1 review
The Virago Book of Wicked Verse (Contributor) 77 copies, 1 review
Roots [1977 TV miniseries] (Actor) 76 copies, 1 review
Read and Rise (Foreword) 75 copies, 2 reviews
Black Women Writers at Work (Contributor) 61 copies, 1 review
African Canvas: The Art of West African Women (Foreword, some editions) 48 copies
Virago Is 40 (Contributor) 29 copies
African American Lives [2006 TV episode] (Narrator) 29 copies, 3 reviews
Women: A World Report (Contributor) 28 copies
Hot and Cool: Jazz Short Stories (Contributor) 26 copies
Bittersweet (Contributor) 8 copies
Shall We Dance? (Foreword) 6 copies

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Short biography
Maya Angelou (pronounced /ˈmaɪ.ə ˈændʒəloʊ/;[1] born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928)[2] is an American autobiographer and poet. Having been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton, she is best known for her series of six autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences.[3] The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award.

Angelou has had a long and varied career, holding jobs such as fry cook, dancer, actress, journalist, educator, television producer, and film director. She was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Angelou has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees and the nomination of a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie.[4] Since the 1990s, she has had a busy career on the lecture circuit, making about 80 appearances a year. Since 1991, Angelou has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as recipient of the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. She became recognized and highly respected as a spokesperson for blacks and women
Disambiguation notice

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Maya Angelou's book Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Maya Angelou's book Mom & Me & Mom was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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