Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (mī´ə ăn´jəlōō), 1928–2014, African-American writer and performer, b. St. Louis, Mo., as Marguerite Johnson. She toured Europe and Africa in the musical Porgy and Bess (1954–55), then sang in New York City nightclubs, joined the Harlem Writers Guild, and took part in several off-Broadway productions, including Genet's The Blacks and her own Cabaret for Freedom (1960). During the 1960s she was active in the African-American political movement; she subsequently moved to Cairo where she edited The Arab Observer and then spent several years in Ghana as editor of the African Review. During the 1970s she appeared on Broadway, in several feature films, and in the TV miniseries Roots. Although she wrote poems, plays, and short stories, all in a lush and lyrical style that was both lauded and criticized, she is best known for her six autobiographical volumes (1970–2002), the first and most popular of which, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which tells of her childhood in the segregated South. Her several volumes of poetry include And I Still Rise (1978). Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993. President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Maya Angelou: A Critical Companion
Mary Jane Lupton.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Understanding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents
Joanne Megna-Wallace.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1998
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Women Writers Talking
Janet Todd.
Holmes & Meier, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou" begins on p. 59
Breaking out of the Cage: The Autobiographical Writings of Maya Angelou
Saunders, James Robert.
Hollins Critic, Vol. 28, No. 4, October 1991
Black American Women Fiction Writers
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou" begins on p. 1
Great American Writers: Twentieth Century
R. Baird Shuman.
Marshall Cavendish, vol.1, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou" begins on p. 57
Opposing Censorship in the Public Schools: Religion, Morality, and Literature
June Edwards.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Religion and Morality in 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou"
Liberating Literature: Feminist Fiction in America
Maria Lauret.
Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "'For the Black Voice and Any Ear Which Can Hear It': Maya Angelou's Autobiographical Work" begins on p. 118
Hurston's and Angelou's Visual Art: The Distancing Vision and the Beckoning Gaze
Tangum, Marion M.; Smelstor, Marjorie.
The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, Fall 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Banned in the U.S.A: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries
Herbert N. Foerstel.
Greenwood Press, 2002 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" begins on p. 194
African American Autobiographers: A Sourcebook
Emmanuel S. Nelson.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou (1928-)" begins on p. 10
On the Pulse of Morning
Angelou, Maya.
National Catholic Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 13, January 29, 1993
'Phenomenal Mothers I Have Known'
Angelou, Maya.
Ebony, Vol. 59, No. 7, May 2004
Maya Angelou: From Creole Cook to Presidential Poet
Unmacht, Eric.
The Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 1999
Maya Angelou: Prime-Time Poet
Hazynes, Karima A.
Ebony, Vol. 48, No. 6, April 1993
Welcome to Her Table Maya Angelou Shares Warm Stories, Tempting Recipes in Memoirs
Ammeson, Jane.
Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 13, 2004
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