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Poet, Actress, Film Maker, Civil rights Activist
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Anne Johnson on April 4th 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. After her parents divorced, she lived with her grandmother, uncle and brother in Arkansas. Her brother, Bailey, gave her the name Maya because her called her "mya sister".
After being sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend at the age of 7, Maya did not speak for almost five years. Her teacher, Mrs. Bertha Flowers helped her to speak again by introducing her to the works of Dickens, Shakespeare and Poe.
She received a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco's Labor School. She later dropped out and became San Francisco's first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school and gave birth to her son, Guy Johnson after graduation.
As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook but she still had her passion for music, dance and drama. In 1952, she married Enistasious Tosh Angelos, a Greek sailor and took the professional name Angelou.
In the late 1950's Maya joined the Harlem Writer's Guild. With the help of her friend, James Baldwin. She went on to write her first autobiography, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" which was published in 1970 and was an internationally acclaimed bestseller. Maya Angelou has written 36 books, 30 of which are bestsellers.
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