Maya Angelou Birthplace: St. Louis

Maya Angelou Birthplace: St. Louis, Writer and African American activist Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Maya Angelou's five autobiographical novels were met with critical and popular success. Her volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, Angelou wrote a poem for Clinton's inauguration. In 2008, she earned a NAACP Award.

Writer, dancer, African-American activist. Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou spent her difficult formative years moving back and forth between her mother's and grandmother's. At age eight, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend, who was subsequently killed by her uncles. The event caused the young girl to go mute for nearly six years, and her teens and early twenties were spent as a dancer, filled with isolation and experimentation.

At 16 she gave birth to a son, Guy, after which she toured Europe and Africa in the musical Porgy and Bess. On returning to New York City in the 1960s, she joined the Harlem Writers Guild and became involved in black activism. She then spent several years in Ghana as editor of African Review, where she began to take her life, her activism and her writing more seriously.

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