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Fun Facts about Maya Angelou

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Did You Know?
Did you know that Maya is a nickname? Do you know what her real name is? Did you know that this famous author and poet was also an excellent dancer, singer and actress? Do you know the name of her first autobiography or what inspired her to write about her personal life and experiences?

Fun Fact 1 Maya Angelou was an inspiring African-American woman who had many successful occupations. She is recognized for her outstanding achievements as a poet, author, civil rights activist, television and film producer, playwright, director and actress.

Fun Fact 2 Maya Angelou had a very interesting and somewhat challenging life which she wrote about in seven autobiographies. She faced some very difficult times, particularly during her childhood as she was abused by a family member. Her stories tell openly of her life and how she grew stronger over the years despite what she had been through.

Fun Fact 3: The first autobiography was a huge success; it was called 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing'. This particular autobiography talks about her early childhood experiences up until the age of 17, in which she compares herself to the 'Caged Bird' in the title of the book.

Fun Fact 4: Maya Angelou is also a very famous poet. She has produced some amazing poems which helped her to compile several books of poetry. Various life experiences and lessons taught her to write fabulous poetry.

Fun Fact 5: Maya Angelou's various books and poems are used in schools throughout the world as a study resource for literature students. Her deep and meaningful content allows students to carefully analyze and learn how to become great writers. Maya written achievements provide an excellent study aid centered around many different themes.

Fun Fact 6: There was a period of five years during Maya Angelou's life where she became mute. She didn't speak at all during these years as she was afraid that if she spoke something very bad might happen. This was following difficult times during her childhood. It was during these years that she discovered her love for literature.

Fun Fact 7: There was a lady who was a teacher and a friend to Maya Angelou, her name was Mrs Bertha Flowers. She helped Maya to overcome her times of silence, where she was unable to speak for five years. Mrs Bertha Flowers did this by introducing Maya to the works of inspiring poets and authors such as Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe.

Fun Fact 8: Maya Angelou wrote a poem called 'On the Pulse of Morning'. It included the inspiring lyrics 'The Rock cries out to us today, You may stand upon me, But do not hide your face.' Maya recited the poem in January 1993 at President Bill Clinton's inauguration.

Fun Fact 9: Maya Angelou's real name was Marguerite Annie Johnson. Maya was a nickname which she was given by Bailey Jr. who was her older brother. The nickname came from 'My' or 'Mya' Sister.

Fun Fact 10: Maya Angelou's parents were called Bailey and Vivian Johnson. Her father was a doorman and navy dietician. Her mother was a nurse and card dealer. The couple's marriage came to an end when Maya was 3 years old and she was sent, along with her older brother, to live with their grandmother.

Fun Fact 11: Maya Angelou wasn't just a literary genius; she was also a successful dancer, actress and singer. Her outstanding production of plays, TV shows and movies received over fifty honorary degrees and many awards.

Fun Fact 12: Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States of America. She was of African-American descent.

Fun Fact 13: Maya Angelou was also a civil rights activist. She worked with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. She continued her work in the Civil Rights movement until she was very old, making approximately eighty appearances on the lecture circuit per year.

Fun Fact 14: Maya Angelou passed away on May 28th, 2014. People from across the world paid tribute to this admiral woman including world leaders such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Fun Fact 15: Maya Angelou has one son who is called Guy Johnson. He was born in 1945 and he is a writer.

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