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Information about the Author Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson on April 4th 1928 in St Louis She was raised by her grandmother in Arkansas at the age of eight she was raped by her mothers boyfriend and became mute for several years In her early teens she became San Franciscos first black street car conductor By the age of 16 she become pregnant and bore a son and by the age of 18 she was a Madame of a brothel in San Diego After that she started her dancing and drama career By the age of 30 she had been a prostitute a showgirl and an actress as well as the first black female conductor of the San Francisco Orchestra She married a South African freedom fighter and moved to Cairo Egypt During the five years she stayed there she became the editor of the Arab Observer wrote for the Ghana African Review and taught at the University of Ghana In the 1960s Dr Martin Luther King Jr asked her to be the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Later President Gerald Ford appointed Maya Angelou to the Bicentennial Advisory Commission and Jimmy Carter appointed her to the National Commission on the Observance of International Womens Year Maya was the first black female to have an original movie produced and filmed Georgia Georgia in 1971 She was nominated for an Emmy because of her acting in it Overall she received several awards for her works and her acting On the 20th of January in 1993 she wrote and delivered On the Pulse of Mornings at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton In her life she has received over 30 honorary degrees and she speaks French Spanish Italian and west African Fanti fluently She won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award I know why the caged bird sings was published
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