Anne Johnson, Maya Angelou, San Francisco discussed on Encyclopedia Womannica


Hi jenny. Today we're re airing an old episode of encyclopedia britannica. I leading the life and work of maya angelou. Maya angelou is one of many women who've been honored as a glamour woman of the year. She was celebrated in two thousand nine for thirty years. Glamour has honored the world's most pioneering women and inspiring leaders such as kamala harris violet davis hillary clinton condoleeza rice misty copeland serena williams reese witherspoon shonda rhimes gloria steinem and many more on march second glamorous releasing a hardcover book entitled glamour. Thirty years of women who have reshaped the world it touches on some of the most culturally important moments of our recent history. The book will be available for purchase at all major booksellers with that onto the show. Many people wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute. A bill to suit fashion models signs when i started to tell them they think i'm telling land i say it's in the reach of my arms the span of my hips the stride of step the curl of my lips. I'm a woman phenomenon from wonder media. Network i'm jenny. Kaplan and this is encyclopaedia manica. It's july fourth for those of you celebrating. Happy independence day every weekday for a year. We're telling the story of a different woman from throughout history who you may or may not know about. It definitely should on this national holiday. I'm so excited to celebrate the life of one of america's greets. Today's dreamer was an american author. Poet historian songwriter playwright dancer producer director performer singer and civil rights activist. She really was a phenomenal woman. Let's talk about maya angelou marguerite. Anne johnson was born in saint louis missouri in nineteen twenty eight but spent much of childhood with her paternal grandmother in the rural town of stamps. Arkansas at the age of seven marguerite was raped by her mother's boyfriend marguerite the crime and the perpetrator was subsequently murdered. Traumatized margaret almost completely mute. For several years she later wrote about this period in her first and best known autobiographical book. I know why the caged bird sings when she was twelve marguerite and her mother moved across the country to san francisco. Marguerite was in a variety of jobs including as a cocktail waitress a prostitute. And madam a cook and a dancer. It was during her time as a dancer that she assumed her. Better known professional. Name maya angelou. Miami of back across the country to new york city in the late nineteen fifties and joined the harlem writers guild around the same time she also landed a leading role in a us. State department sponsored production of george gershwin's opera porgy and bess the production toward all over the world hitting twenty two countries in europe and africa. My also studied dance with dance. Legends martha graham and pearl premise. She was heavily involved. In the civil rights movement and in nineteen fifty-nine. Meyer became the northern coordinator for the southern christian leadership conference the civil rights organization at the personal behest of dr martin luther king junior in one thousand nine hundred sixty one maya in john jay's play the blacks before moving to cairo with a south african dissident to whom she was briefly married in cairo maya worked as a reporter at the arab observer. She done moved to ghana and worked at the african review. Meyer returned to the us in the late. Nineteen sixties her first book. I know why the caged bird sings nineteen. Sixty-nine and it was nominated for a national book award. Maya was extremely busy in the nineteen seventies her first collection of poetry entitled. Just give me a cool drink of water for i. Die was published in nineteen seventy one the following year. My head became the first african american woman to have a screenplay produced as a feature film for the movie georgia georgia. She also wrote the film soundtrack. Through the rest of the decade to more of maya's autobiographical books were published gathered together in my name and singing and swinging and getting married like christmas under second collection of poetry called and still i rise was released leaving behind nights of terror and fear iran into daybreak miraculously clear uh iran bringing the gifts that my ancestors game i am the hope and the dream of the slave and so naturally maya was also appointed by president. Gerald ford to the by centennial commission and later by president jimmy carter to the commission for international woman of the year. My also continued her acting career appealing on stage and in several tv shows including the iconic miniseries roots. Maya was often referred to as dr angelou. Despite the fact that she hadn't gone to college over the course of her life however she received more than fifty honorary degrees from some of the world's most prestigious universities and in nineteen eighty one. She was given a lifetime appointment. As professor of american studies at wake forest university in winston salem north carolina that same year she also released her third autobiographical book. The heart of a woman for the next thirty three years maya's pace of work continued. She published three more memoirs two more collections of poetry. A book of meditations several children's books an anecdote driven book of advice. She also continued to act and became a director. Maya was asked to compose and deliver poems for bill. Clinton's nineteen ninety-three presidential inauguration and the fiftieth anniversary of the united nations. She was also commissioned by the us state department to write the poem. His day is done as an elegy for former south african president nelson mandela in two thousand. Eleven maya angelou was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by president barack obama. Maya died on the morning of may twenty eighth. Two thousand fourteen in winston salem. Despite the fact that she'd been sick and had cancelled scheduled appearances says she was still working on another book at the time during memorial service wake forest my son said quote. She left this mortal plane with no loss of acuity and no loss comprehension. Maya angelou's poetry and literature have become part of the great american cannon. Her work explores themes of economic racial and sexual oppression and draws from her incredible personal experiences tune in tomorrow for the story of another amazing dreamer special. Thanks to lose kaplan my favorite sister and the amazing brain behind this collection of women. Talk to you tomorrow..

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