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Maya Angelou was born on April 4 1928 in St Louis Missouri She was born under the name Marguerite Johnson but her brother Baily renamed her Maya Her parents Baily and Vivian Baxter Johnson got divorced when she was very young Maya grew up in a very racist town There were many problems in her life in which she describes in her best selling autobiographical novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings At the age of 16 she became pregnant while experimenting if her sexual preference was males or females She had to get numerous jobs to support herself and her son Clyde In 1952 she married a man named Tosh Angelos but due to his atheist ideals which grew to be unacceptable to Mayas religion the marriage soon ended In order to have money to support herself and Clyde she was forced to become a dancer and a bar girl in a strip joint After she got enough money she moved to New York and sang at various clubs Maya started her writing career in New York with the Harlem Literary Guild She made contracts which led to her recognition as a producer director and performer In 1960 she married a South African freedom fighter Vusumzi Make They both got jobs as editors of the Arab Observer The marriage ended three years later and Maya moved to Ghana She felt at home for the first time of her life This is when she started her first writings Maya was nominated for an Emmy Award for her acting in Roots and Georgia Georgia She also received a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for her poems Just Give Me a Cool Drink fore I Die 1971 and And Still I Rise 1976 Being President Bill Clintons favorite writer he asked her to write and deliver a poem for his 1993 presidential inauguration She also wrote a poem for the Million Man March On the Pulse of Morning
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