Ode to a Legend: 21 Inspiring Facts about Maya Angelou

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The world is saddened today to learn that African American renowned poet, civil rights activist and author passed away this morning at age 86. Even though she is no longer with us physically, she left with us the blessing that is her work and its impact. In celebration of the life of this Phenomenal Woman, here are 21 inspiring facts you may not know about Angelou.

1. Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis, Mo on April 4, 1928.

2. Angelou descended from the Mende people of West Africa. maya4

3. In high school, Angelou studied dance and drama.

4. At the age of 14, she dropped out of school. 5. Angelou was San Francisco’s first African-American, female street car conductor.

Maya Angelou

6. Angelou once lived and worked in Cairo as an editor of an English-language weekly newspaper.

7. Angelou once lived in Ghana and taught at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama. maya1

8. Angelou spoke several languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti.

9. Angelou met Malcolm X in Ghana.

10. Angelou returned to America in 1964 to help Malcolm X form his Organization of African American Unity.

11. Angelou served as northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on the request of Martin Luther King Jr.

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12. She met Nelson Mandela in Cairo in 1962 and remained good friends with him till his death in 2013.

13. At age 7, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. (As described in her most popular book “I know why the caged bird sings). Her uncles killed her rapist.

14. Feeling responsible for the death of her rapist, Angelou was mute for five years.

15. In 2010, President Obama awarded Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. maya7

16. Angelou won three Grammy Awards for her spoken-word albums.

17. Although Angelou never went back to school, she received over thirty honorary doctoral degrees.

18. At the time of her death, Angelou had published seven autobiographies, three essay books, and several books of poetry.

19. Angelou was married at least twice (no confirmed number): to Tosh Angelos in 1951 and Paul du Feu in 1973, and in 1961 had a relationship with Vusumzi Make.

20. Angelou has one son Guy, one grandson, and two great-grandchildren.

21. Angelou loved to watch Law & Order and was an avid country music lover.

maya3 RIP Maya…..

Stay Inspired,

NwaVic – www.nwavic.blogspot.com | dearnwavic@gmail.com |Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq Source: Time and USA Today.

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