POET, HISTORIAN, AUTHOR (1928-)
Maya Angelou is a poet, historian,
author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She
lectures throughout the US and abroad and is Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Se has
published ten best selling books and countless magazine articles. At the request of
President Clinton, she wrote and delivered a poem at the 1992 presidential
inauguration. Dr. Angelou began her career in drama and dance. She married a
South African freedom fighter and lived in Cairo where she was editor of The Arab
Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. In Ghana, she
was feature editor of The African Review and taught at the University
In the 1960s, at the request of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Ms. Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference. She was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the
Bicentennial Commission and by President Jimmy Carter to the National Commission on the
Observance of International Women's Year. In the film industry, through her work in
script writing and directing, Maya Angelou has been a groundbreaker for black women.
In television, she has made hundreds of appearances. Her renowned autobiographical
account of her youth, " I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," was a two-hour TV
special on CBS. She has written and produced several prize-winning documentaries,
including "Afro-Americans in the Arts, " a PBS special for which she received
the Golden Eagle Award. Dr.Angelou speaks French, Spanish, Italian, and West African
Revised: July 18, 2013.