Acclaimed author and poet Maya Angelou died this morning at age 86.
Not many people have inspired as many lives as Maya Angelou has.
Did you know that at 16, Maya Angelou was the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco and also the first woman conductor? By the time she was 40, she had been a cook, a waitress, a madam, a prostitute, a dancer, an actress, a playwright, an editor at an English-language newspaper in Egypt, and a Calypso singer?
It was only when she was 41 that she became an author and wrote her first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which she told the story of her life up to the age of 17.
Maya Angelou’s beginnings were far from easy. Born Marguerite Johnson in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, she was raped when she was 7 by her mother’s boyfriend and testified against him in court. Traumatized, she wouldn’t speak in public until she was 12. This was the time the written word kept her company. Although she got her voice back, life didn’t get better. At 17, she became a mother and moved cities, jobs and husbands. Angelou was one of her husbands and Maya was her brother’s nickname for her.
At 40, her friends persuaded her to use her gift with words to write about her life. And she did.
Continue reading at Maya Angelou Inspiring Quotes
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