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Research Paper about Maya Angelou

❶Many people know of Maya Angelou through either her appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show or know that she recited a poem at the inauguration of President Clinton.

( 1928 – )

original name Marguerite Johnson
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While many people had a fairly typical childhood, Maya Angelou had a childhood filled with tremendous trauma and became a phenomenal woman which makes her admirable. There are many reasons why she is admirable and her childhood is only one part of it. Angelou's life was sort of similar to many other African Americans.

For example, she was beaten with belts and objects if she was disobedient and she had to deal with segregation and racism in America Agins Angelou has written many books about her life and experiences.

Her parents named her Marguerite Johnson "Biography"1. Angelou had only one sibling, a brother who was named after their father, Bailey Johnson.

It was Bailey Jr. He called her "Mya sister". Her family moved to Long Beach, California shortly after her birth and then just a couple years later her parents got divorced sending her ,age 3, and her brother to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas Agins 8. Angelou, Bailey, and her grandmother went to church religiously every Sunday Agins 9, At the time, Angelou's father had deceived Angelou and Bailey Jr. He made them think that they were going to live with him Agins Later, Angelou moved back to California to live with her mother Vivian who was employed as a card dealer in gambling parlors.

Angelou's mother had a boyfriend at the time named Mr. Freeman Agins 13, Angelou was only eight years old when Mr. Freeman raped her Agins Freeman went on trial for raping Angelou and she testified as to what he had done to her.

After standing trial for raping her, he was found guilty. Later that day the police found Freeman's dead body in a vacant parking lot. It was reported that he had apparently been kicked to death. 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? The black kids, the poor white kids, Spanish-speaking kids, and Asian kids in the U.

And dare not only to love somebody else, and even to accept love in return, but dare to love themselves-that's what is most amazing. Their optimism gives me hope. Maya believes that "the spirit of youthful optimism will let today's kids rise above the violence on the streets and the oblique and direct negligence" Kelley 2.

When asked what she means about "rising above the oblique and direct negligence," she says:. I 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. I see the neglect of Native American children in the concentration camps called reservations. What they're really saying is, 'If you can, do, but if you can't forget it. To escape the harsh realities of today's violence filled world, Maya suggest that young people wishing to elude the violence should read.

When asked what young people should do if they can't read period she said that illiteracy must be stamped out. She preaches that "the elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our history as the abolition of slavery" Kelley 3.

It is clear that Maya's view on spirituality is that everyone should try and live a rich, fulfilling life filled with hope and the yearning to learn more.

Maya's view on religion is one of hope that people will accept God with pride. Angelou believes that "the most delicious piece of knowledge is that we are all children of God" Kelley 3. She finds it "mind-boggling, that this 'it' created everything and that I am a child of 'it'" Kelley 3. To her, "it means that I am connected to every thing and every body" Kelley 3. But Maya also recognizes the down side to her "connection":.

That is my contract. The way that each individual recognizes God also enthralls her:. And shape God and paint God, make a statue of God. Once I went to Texas to a conference called 'Facing Evil. I went to Germany and I went into the concentration camps. You had to go to Germany, you here in Texas who refused Mexican-Americans a chance to vote, you who don't want them to even live next to you, you who have your own history of slavery-you had to go to Germany?

I don't want to here it. This powerful outburst from Maya at this conference displays her fearlessness to stand up against opinions and ideas that conflict with her own beliefs. Maya believes that if everyone accepts the fact of evil, then everyone also must accept the fact of good. Many people only think of evil, and don't believe that there is good in the world. But according to Maya, if one accepts one, one must accept the other. Angelou has faith that if the entire race can accept the good in the world gracefully, then the world will be a much better place.

Showing her faith in humanity, Angelou thinks that there has been a lot of progress in the area of Civil Rights since the Civil War. Ken Kelley asked Maya if "a generation after the Civil Rights Act, how much progress has America made in the fight against racial discrimination?

Angelou says that there has been a lot of progress and that it's very dangerous not to say so. It's dangerous not to say so "because if we say so, we tell young people, implicitly or explicitly, that there can be no change" Kelley 3. If young people heard this, then they would compute:. Well then, what the hell am I doing? There's no point for me to do anything. Maya believes that the truth is "a lot has changed-for the good, and it's gonna keep getting better, according to how we put our courage forward, and thrust our hearts forth" Kelley 3.

Her hopeful view on Civil Rights should inspire everyone to not lose faith, and to just keep on working. President Clinton, at whose election Maya Angelou read her inspirational poem On the Pulse of Morning, is the focal point of Maya's hopeful view on today's world politics. Maya thinks of President Clinton as an "innocent abroad. When asked what she thinks Clinton should do over the next two years, Maya replies:. I think Clinton, after getting into office and into Washington, was shocked at being bludgeoned.

So he spent time trying to be all things to all people--one way guaranteed not to be successful or respected in a lion's den.

You can't just play around with all those big cats--you've got to take somebody on. Maya believes that if the nation can continue in it's current direction, then there is hope for everyone. In her lifetime, Maya Angelou has written many inspirational books, including her heart-warming autobiographies. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings talks about her experiences as a child in the segregated south, and her experiences in St.

Louis and San Francisco with her mother. Gather Together in My Name is the continuation of Maya's life story. It deals with her troubles and struggles as a single mother and how she had to support herself and a young child. Maya describes her unsuccessful marriage and her continual efforts to support her family and the rise of her speculative career.

The Heart of a Women covers her life through the late s and early s when she travels to Cairo, Egypt with her son Guy. The fifth and final volume of Angelou's autobiography is All God's. A Woman of Hope research paper Research Papers term papers. Free essays on Research Papers posted on this site were donated by anonymous users and are provided for informational use only.

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Maya Angelou’s five-volume autobiography commenced with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in The memoirs chronicle different eras of her life and were met with critical and popular success. The memoirs chronicle different eras of her life and were met with critical and popular success.

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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.

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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. Maya Angelou - Research Paper. 9 Pages Words December Saved essays Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!

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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. 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.