Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, was an American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer. She lead a very active life. She was known for singing, dancing, and being a composer. An accomplishment of hers was being the first black director in Hollywood (poetryfoundation.org). Her life as an activist opened doors for her to work with people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. She is best known for her work as a writer. I chose Maya Angelou to write about for National Women’s History Month because of her work as an author.
In Maya’s lifetime, she received many awards for her writing skills. In 2000, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton and in 2010 she was awarded the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama (poetryfoundation.org). In total, she had earned over 50 awards prior to her death in 2014.
Maya Angelou is famous for her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The book was based on her earlier experiences in life and the trauma she faced as a child. She has written numerous autobiographies detailing what her life was like at different stages of her life. She won the attention of many through her books. Her poetry often detailed the strength of women and the human spirit. She even was asked by President Bill Clinton to write an inaugural poem (poetryfoundation.org). She branched into writing children’s books and collaborating with others in writing these books.
Maya achieved much greatness during her time. Her name is well-known today. She made a difference for women, for black women, for writers, and for activists. She passed away in 2014 with numerous pieces of her work left behind to continue on her legacy.
If you are interested in learning more about Maya Angelou, you can check out this website:
Maya Angelou. (2021). Poetryfoundation.org. (2021). Retrieved February 26, 2021 from