Maya Angelou Essay

4534 WordsSep 11, 201219 Pages
Lisa Lupo AP English Maya Angelou Research Paper Maya Angelou, born as Marguerite Johnson, is a very well-known poet and author. She was born to Vivian and Bailey Johnson on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. When Maya was three, her parents got a divorce and sent Maya and her older brother, Bailey Johnson Jr., to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Maya spent most of her early life in Stamps and was basically raised by her grandmother and older brother. Living in Stamps exposed Maya to racial discrimination and hatred toward her race. She was born during the time of segregation and would often see her grandmother and Uncle Willie be taunted simple for their color. Maya also had to deal with a very traumatic life-changing experience at a young age. When Maya was eight, she and Bailey were sent back to St. Louis to live with their mother. While living with her mother, Maya was sexually assaulted and eventually raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. She opened up about the rape even though Mr. Freeman threatened to kill Bailey if she did. He was imprisoned and eventually killed by Maya’s uncles. Maya was terrified by the fact that her telling her family about the rape caused a death, so she stayed silent since she believed that her voice could literally kill. The rape left her scarred for the next few years. She and Bailey were sent back to Stamps again to live with their grandmother. It was there that Maya slowly began to speak and eventually got her self-esteem back up. She was taught by a lady named Bertha Flowers, who not only got her talking again but also introduced her to authors and poets that got Maya interested in reading and learning about the thoughts of others. Maya eventually moved back with her mother and became the first black female cable car conductor. She also developed a love for dance and acting as well while in

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