This week we say goodbye to an American giant. Maya Angelou,
born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928, was
globally renowned as an author, poet, actor, director and producer of plays,
movies and television shows.
Maya Angelou is probably known best for her seven
autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry. One of her
most widely known works, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, was written in 1969 and
discusses her sometimes difficult life up until the age of seventeen.
In addition to her many talents she was also a person of
action. Miss Angelou was a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, a journalist in Egypt and in Ghana, during Ghana's days of
She spent most of her life writing, lecturing and discussing
her life and the African American experience in America. Angelou was a constant
presence in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with notables such as Martin
Luther King and Malcolm X among others in her fight for racial equality, human
rights and women's rights.
Her eloquent baritone voice was uniquely and unmistakably
her own. Without a doubt she was a woman who rose from tragedy to triumph. As
Oprah Winfrey said, Maya Angelou was able to artfully and soulfully represent
life to us so that we could see a better picture of ourselves through her. She
will be remembered for truly living life to the fullest for 86 years.