Google doodle celebrates the 90th birth anniversary of an American award-winning poet, author, playwright, historian, songwriter, singer, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, and civil rights activist, Dr. Maya Angelou.

Dr. Angelou had received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees in her life. Within a span of 50 years, she published three books of essays, seven autobiographies, several books of poetry and was credited with the list of plays and television shows.

She was awarded the Spingram Medal in 1994 and the National Medal of arts in 2000. US President Barack Obama honored her with Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Angelou also had the honor of receiving first Reynolds Professor of American Studies in 1982. She was an active supporter of the civil right movement and had worked with the Martin Luther King Jr along with Malcolm X.

Maya’s early childhood was full of losses and miseries. At the age of three, her parents separated and she along with her brother went to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas.

She was raped at the age of eight by her mother’s boyfriend. The man was killed by her uncles when she revealed about the incident. Angelou became mute for five years. Later Angelou would say, “I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man because I told his name.”

In 1940, Angelou moved to San Francisco with her mother and brother. She joined dance classes and eventually auditioned for professional theatre. Her dreams were put on hold when she got pregnant at the age of 16.

She became a poet and a writer after adopting series of occupations as a young adult which included sex worker, a nightclub dancer, fry cook, and journalist.

She died in 2014 at the age of 86.

Source: The Express Tribune 


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