Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou (1928-) was an American Negro poet, playwright, actress, memoirist and social activist. 

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri. After her birth, her parents separated from each other and Maya Angelou was brought up by her grandmother. At the age of eight, she was sexually harassed by one of her mother’s boyfriend. During her childhood, she appeared to be taciturn and became accustomed to reading books and reciting verses. From her childhood, she had been experiencing the evil effects of racism and herself became a victim of it. One day, during her childhood, she happened to go to a white dentist, but the doctor refused to treat her because she was a black one.  In addition to these, she was often raped that made her a mother of a child at the age of sixteen. All these experiences built up her mind a resolute one and she determined to speak against social evils like racism and class distinction which later on get reflected on her writings. Her attitude to life is summed up in her words: “You may encounter defeats but you must not be defeated”.

Maya Angelou has written five autobiographical books, among which mention may be made of ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ (1969) ‘The Heart of a Woman’ (1981),  ‘And Still I Rise (1978) etc.

Posted in Intro to World Writers.

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