Maya Angelou Added to the Literary Canon Essay

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Maya Angelou added to the Literary Canon Maya Angelou is an editor, performer, singer, filmmaker, dancer, educator, but one thing she does best is writing. Angelou, born April 4, 1928, has had many influences throughout her lifetime. She has been influenced by her hardships, writers, religion, and the African American community. Maya Angelou should be included in the literary canon because she is best known for her autobiographies, which involved her childhood and her early life experiences. Her autobiographies influenced many African Americans and specifically women. She was active in the Civil Rights movement and worked with both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. She involved herself in television production and remained active in the Civil Rights Movement, working more closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who requested that she serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was also asked to read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s and President Barack Obama’s inauguration. She was the first African American woman to have that privilege. She was awarded a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book of poetry, “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Die”. She wrote mainly for herself and black people. Today, she is a powerful woman and figure for everyone and inspires the new generation with color and emotion. She lets people know that hardships can be overcome and turn into a positive impact in other people’s lives. Maya beard enough emotional stress in a time frame that most people do not experience in a lifetime. She faced many barriers that tried to keep her from reaching her success but otherwise made her stronger. Maya quoted, “you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” She admits to be driven by her fears. Her best-selling book she has written is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. This book

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