Maya Angelou

February 1, 2011

Home, Very Important People

Maya Angelou

Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, is an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her Book Award. She is also the first Black woman director in Hollywood. Angelou has written, produced, directed, and starred in several types of productions.

In 1959, Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1961 to 1962, she was associate editor of The Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt. From 1964 to 1966, she was feature editor of the African Review in Ghana. She returned to the US in 1974 and was appointed by Gerald Ford to the Bicentennial Commission and later Jimmy Carter to the Commission for International Woman of the Year. She accepted a lifetime appointment in 1981 as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1993, Angelou wrote and delivered a poem, “On the Pulse of the Morning,” at the inauguration for President Bill Clinton at his request.