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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Maya Angelou: Selected full-text books and articles

Maya Angelou: A Critical Companion By Mary Jane Lupton Greenwood Press, 1998
Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1998
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Women Writers Talking By 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 By Saunders, James Robert Hollins Critic, Vol. 28, No. 4, October 1991
Black American Women Fiction Writers By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou" begins on p. 1
Great American Writers: Twentieth Century By 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 By 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 By 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 By Tangum, Marion M.; Smelstor, Marjorie The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, Fall 1998
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 By 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 By Emmanuel S. Nelson Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Maya Angelou (1928-)" begins on p. 10
On the Pulse of Morning By Angelou, Maya National Catholic Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 13, January 29, 1993
'Phenomenal Mothers I Have Known' By Angelou, Maya Ebony, Vol. 59, No. 7, May 2004
Maya Angelou: From Creole Cook to Presidential Poet By Unmacht, Eric The Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 1999
Maya Angelou: Prime-Time Poet By Hazynes, Karima A Ebony, Vol. 48, No. 6, April 1993
Welcome to Her Table Maya Angelou Shares Warm Stories, Tempting Recipes in Memoirs By Ammeson, Jane Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 13, 2004
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