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Research Paper on Maya Angelou

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❶I see the neglect in cities around the country, in poor white children in West Virginia and Virginia and Kentucky-in the big cities, too, for that matter. As a child, most of her time was spent with her brother, Bailey Johnson, and they were raised by their paternal grandmother, Momma, in Stamps, Arkansas.

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After Martin Luther King assassination in , she began to write driven by her friend, the Harlem writer James Baldwin. One of the greatest poets-activist for civil rights, her poems have become well-known all over the planet.

In addition to the socio-political and literary career, Angelou also received recognition as a director, producer, and film and television actress. Her screenplay, Georgia, Georgia was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She was twice nominated for a Tony Award as an actress: She was the first black woman accepted to the Directors Guild of America.

In year introduced into St. Maya Angela is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. To write an interesting research paper on Maya Angela a student has to present the historical background of the character, describe her role in struggle for civil rights, her literary work, and acting career.

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She "was neither glad nor sorry. He was a stranger, and if he chose to leave her with a stranger, it was all of one piece" Angelou Caged Bird The Baxter's marriage was not quite a traditional marriage. Grandmother Baxter, a white woman, had met Grandfather Baxter, a black man, while working at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and married him. Inter-racial marriages were not as common in the nineteen-thirties as they are now. Moving from a small, rural town in Arkansas to a large, busy city in Missouri can be quite a shock for a little girl who does not know what to suspect.

Louis introduced her to "thin-sliced ham, jelly beans and peanuts mixed, lettuce on sandwich bread, Victrolas and family loyalty" Angelou Caged Bird Louis they bought the paper-thin slices in a strange-smelling German store and ate them in sandwiches" Angelou Caged Bird Maya's mother enrolled both Bailey and Maya at Toussaint L'Ouverture Grammar School where the teachers immediately skipped them a grade because the teachers felt that the "country children would make their classmates feel inferior" Angelou Caged Bird The reason that Maya and Bailey were so far ahead of the other children is that back in Stamps their teachers forced them to learn their multiplication tables and learned to read because there was not much else to do in town.

Maya and Bailey lived with their grandparents for their first six months in St. Louis before their mother moved them in with her. While Maya was living with her mother, a very important event occurred in her life.

Maya's mother was living with and dating a Mr. Freeman who was a large man whose entire day focused around Maya's mother. He would just sit in his chair all afternoon, waiting for Maya's mother to come home. Freeman would suddenly come alive when she walked in the room. One day, while waiting for Maya's mother to come home, Mr.

Freeman called Maya over to him. He then proceeded to rape her without her really realizing that what he was doing was so hideously wrong.

This happened twice more while Maya lived with her mother before her mom discovered that he had raped her. Freeman was put on trial, he was found guilty. The judge sentenced him to only one year and one day of jail time which he never served because his lawyer got him out that afternoon.

Freeman turned up dead in an alley the next day. His killer has never been found. Believing that during the trial she had lied because she couldn't bring herself to say that Mr. Freeman had actually raped her, Maya decided that she had "sold herself to the Devil and that there could be no escape. The only thing she could do was to stop talking to people other than Bailey" Angelou Caged Bird At first her family thought that her refusal to talk was just some kind of post-rape or post-hospital affliction.

But when the doctor pronounced her totally well again and she still refused to speak, her family members became enraged with her and would beat her whenever they felt offended by her silence. Her family could no longer stand her refusal to talk that they sent her back to Stamps to live with her grandmother once more. After the business of living in a big city, "the barrenness of Stamps was exactly what Maya wanted, without will or consciousness" Angelou Caged Bird Maya and Bailey became the main attraction in Stamps for their first few months in town before the novelty wore off.

If it was not for a Mrs. Bertha Flowers, who was an aristocrat of Black Stamps, Maya might have never became the national celebrity and African-American spokesperson that she is today. Flowers "appealed to Maya because she was like the people Maya had never met personally. Like women in English novels who walked the moors with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance.

Like the women who sat in front of roaring fireplaces, drinking tea incessantly from silver trays full of scones and crumpets" Angelou Caged Bird Flowers so much because Mrs. Flowers was the person that Maya wanted to be. One of the first things that Mrs.

Flowers told Maya was that "It takes the human voice to infuse words with the shades of deeper meaning" Angelou Caged Bird Maya memorized this advice and still tells it to everyone at her seminars to this day. While sitting in Mrs. Flowers' living room one day, eating cookies and sipping lemonade, Mrs. Flowers began the first of what she later called "Maya's lessons in life. She said that Maya must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.

That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more intelligent than college professors. She encouraged Maya to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit.

That in those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations. Angelou Caged Bird Flowers brushed off the table and brought a thick, small book from the bookcase. Maya had read A Tale of Two Cities and found it up to her standards as a romantic novel. Flowers opened the first page and Maya heard poetry for the first time in her life" Angelou Caged Bird The way that the beautiful words sounded to Maya being spoken aloud by Mrs.

Flowers was hypnotically beautiful to Maya. While Maya was in her dream like trance, Mrs. Flowers asked "How do you like that? For the first time since the trial, Maya spoke to someone besides Bailey. All she could bring herself to say was "Yes, ma'am. Flowers then told Maya to "take this book of poems and memorize one for me. Next time you pay me a visit, I want you to recite.

Flowers who brought Maya out of her cocoon and got her believing in herself once again. The entire world owes homage to Mrs. Bertha Flowers, for without her, Maya Angelou may have never come to the world's spotlight and influenced the many people that she did. When Maya was ten years old, she became the employee of a Mrs.

Cullinan "was a plump woman who lived in a three-bedroom house somewhere behind the post office" Angelou Caged Bird Cullinan was a fairly wealthy white woman who lived in Stamps. Maya worked in the kitchen with Miss Glory, "who was a descendant of slaves that had worked for the Cullinans for years" Angelou Caged Bird One day while Maya was serving Mrs. Cullinan and one of her snobby friends lunch, Mrs.

Cullinan decided that calling Maya by her real name, Marguerite, took too long. Cullinan suddenly had the idea to start calling her Mary for her own convenience.

Because being "called out of one's name" Angelou Caged Bird is one of the few things that all people fear and hate, Maya was enraged when this woman was so bold to think that she could just rename Maya on a whim. Because Maya couldn't just quit, she and Bailey plotted how she could get herself fired. When Maya described the contents of Mrs. Cullinan's favorite china cabinet, Bailey got the idea that if Maya were to break some of Mrs. Cullinan's favorite dishware that she would fire Maya.

So, the next day, while Maya was in the kitchen, she picked up Mrs. Cullinan's favorite serving tray and dropped it on the floor. Cullinan heard this and ran into the kitchen screaming "MARY!!! Cullinan waddled into the room "let them fall to the tiled floor" Angelou Caged Bird Cullinan fell to the floor, looked at her broken china and cried "Oh, Momma.

It's Momma's china from Virginia. Miss Glory ran into the room and just stood motionless, unable to speak. Cullinan peered at Maya and screamed "That clumsy nigger! Clumsy little black nigger! Cullinan grabbed a piece of shattered glass and "threw the wedge of broken plate at Maya" Angelou Caged Bird Fortunately for Maya, because she was so hysterical, she missed Maya completely but the shard hit Miss Glory above the right ear.

Maya left immediately after the incident and never returned again. The last really important event that occurred during Maya's childhood was her graduation from the Lafayette County Training School.

Maya and all the other children were lined up, waiting to receive their diplomas. Maya described her response when she was called up to the podium like this:. My name had lost its ring of familiarity and I had to be nudged to go and receive my diploma. All my preparations had fled. I neither marched up to the stage like a conquering Amazon, nor did I look in the audience for Bailey's nod of approval.

Marguerite Johnson, I heard the name again, my honors were read, there were noises in the audience of appreciation, and I took my place on the stage as rehearsed. Still in a daze-like trance, Maya's classmates went up to the microphone and gave speeches and read inspirational excerpts from famous works of literature. Maya woke out of her reverie when the class valedictorian took center stage and began to sing James Weldon Johnson's poem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing":.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,. We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered. Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. The tears that flowed freely from the audience were not "wiped away in shame" Angelou Caged Bird The singing of the "Black National Anthem" really moved the entire assembly to unabashed crying. So ends the childhood of Maya Angelou.

Her ability to keep hope even against tremendous pressure from outside forces gave her the ability to survive a time of racial hatred in the deep south. During her constant struggles against sexist and racial hatred, Maya Angelou has experienced more significant events in her life than most people can hope to encounter in ten-fold lifetimes. During her years in a San Francisco area High school, she became impregnated and gave birth to her son, Guy Johnson, at the age of She was an unwed mother who had to work many odd jobs as a cook and a waitress just to make ends meet.

Over the next few years Maya jumped from job to job, but always kept her love of the arts sacred to herself. In the nineteen-fifties, she started her career as a night club performer which helped launch her pursuit of becoming a singer and a dancer. After her career performing in night clubs came to an end, she became the first black woman to conduct in San Francisco.

In , she became the first black woman to have an original screenplay produced when her work "Georgia, Georgia" was filmed. She later married a South African freedom fighter and moved to Cairo, Egypt with him. During her five years spent in Egypt, she became the editor of The Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. She then moved to Ghana where she could teach young Africans and be the feature editor of the African Review. Years later, she is quoted as saying "that being black, female, non-Muslim, non-Arab, six foot tall, and American made for some interesting experiences during her stay in Africa" Biography 1.

After her divorce, she moved back to the United States where she was appointed "Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her life experiences should infuse everyone with hope that the world can be a place without hatred, without fear, if everyone can just see past appearances and gaze into another's soul. Maya Angelou believes that spirituality is the key to living a life full of love and hope.

In an interview with Ken Kelley, a freelance writer for national magazines, Maya was asked how spirituality fits into the American way of life. Somehow, we have come to the erroneous belief that we are all but flesh, blood, and bones, and that's all. So we direct our values to material things. We become what writer Beah Richards calls "exiled to things": If we have three cars rather than two, we'll live a little longer. If we have four more titles, we'll live longer still.

And, especially, if we have more money than the next guy, we'll live longer than he. There is something more-the spirit, or the soul. I think that that quality encourages our courtesy and care and our minds. And mercy, and identity. This belief that the amount of material possessions that one owns is the scale of how you're measured against others really is very sad.

When asked what she meant when she asks "Why do black children hope?


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Maya Angelou is the author of many poems dealing with deep themes that leave the reader to really think about the subject that is being presented. One of these themes deals with equality for everyone. This is an example research paper on Maya Angelou. Free sample term paper on Maya Angelou for college students. Read good tips how to write a research about her.

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Maya Angelou research paper should be just like the back of your hands as you are getting 3 thesis statement ideas for writing research papers on Maya Angelou. Poet Research Paper: Maya Angelou The passion and eloquence of the compositions written by the great Maya Angelou resulted from the adversity that she was forced to overcome. As a young African-American living a segregated era, her life was characterized by discrimination.