Maya Angelou, the iconic and prolific writer touched many souls with her words and with the mixture of her often solemn and deep tone of voice, accentuated her writings all the more.
Here are some quick facts about Maya Angelou that you may not know.
Maya Angelou didn’t celebrate her own birthday for years, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., someone that happens to be one of her dearest friends. She also sent King’s widow, Coretta Scott King flowers every year after King’s death up until 2006 when Coretta Scott King died.
Maya was born Marguerite Annie Johnson and later had her last name changed to Angelou, which was derived from her marriage to a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelopulos. Her first name Maya is a nickname while Angelou is a shortened version of the name Angelopulos.
Maya Angelou’s first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings published in 1969, is the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman, which brought her international recognition and acclaim.
Her screenplay, Georgia, Georgia, was the first original script by a black woman to be produced in 1972, and she was the first African-American woman to direct a major motion picture, Down in the Delta, in 1998.
Her most famous collection of poems named Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die was released in 1971 and later nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
In 1993, the recitation of her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” became the first presidential inaugural recitation since 1961.
In the 1940’s, Angelou became the first black woman to serve as a streetcar conductor in San Francisco, California.
Angelou was praised for sustaining a two-year run on The New York Times’ paperback nonfiction bestseller’s list.
“To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.”
“We are only as blind as we want to be.”
“I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”
“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.”