Maya Angelou, America’s famous poet, novelist and actress has died. She died last night in a North Carolina hospital.
Born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, she grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated Stamps, Arkansas.
The professor, singer and dancer, among other things, whose work spans different professions was recovering from an ailment that sent her to the hospital. She is said to have died with family by her side.
She had posted on her Facebook only yesterday that doctors had advised her not to travel, forcing her to cancel a planned trip to Houston, where Maya was to be honoured on Friday with the Beacon of Life Award at Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Game.
She has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities around the world.
Her most famous book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was also her most controversial.
Angelou spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, California.
After dropping out at age 14, she became the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.
Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth to her son a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance. She toured Europe in the mid-1950s with Porgy and Bess, an opera production. In 1957, she recorded her first album, Calypso Lady.
In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in The Blacks, an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college.
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