Maya Angelou

Poet, Novelist, Composer, Actor
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO

Grammy Award-winning poet, writer, composer, and actress Maya Angelou is the author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), an autobiography about growing up in segregated Arkansas. She has appeared in several theatrical productions, including Porgy and Bess (1954), Jean Genet's The Blacks (1960), and Cabaret for Freedom (1960), a collaboration with actor Godfrey Cambridge that she also produced and directed. During the 1960s, she was active in the civil rights movement. In 1993, Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Clinton's inauguration.

Famous Quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Related Resources

Lesson Plan
Inaugural Poetry (Grades 5-8)
Review poems read at presidential inauguration ceremonies with this lesson plan. After the presidential election is over, find out how the new president officially takes office.

Web Resources
Mother Jones Interview with Maya Angelou

Official Home Page of Maya Angelou

Selected Works by Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970)
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie (1971)
Gather Together in My Name (1974)
Oh Pray My Wings are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975)
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976)
And Still I Rise (1978)
The Heart of a Woman. New York (1981)
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986)
I Shall Not Be Moved, Random House (1990)
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993)
Complete Collected Poems (1995)

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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