Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Maya Angelou Didn't Celebrate Birthday for Years Because of MLK's Death

Maya Angelou Didn't Celebrate Birthday for Years Because of MLK's Death

"She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life", Oprah said in a statement after Maya's death in 2014.

Google writes: "Today's video Doodle celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou on what would have been her 90th birthday". It's set to the soundtrack of one of her poems, I Rise, being read by some of the many people she inspired with her words including celebrities Alicia Keyes, Laverne Cox and Oprah Winfrey.

"Life stopped for me for a few days". "If this book finds its way into the hands of bold, adventurous people, courageous enough to actually get into the kitchen and rattle pots and pans, I will be very happy", Angelou wrote in the introduction to the latter title. Fully aware she'd face criticism for diminishing her stature with a commercial venture (including from her own publisher at Random House), she responded by saying, "If I'm America's poet, or one of them, then I want to be in people's hands".

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It was Bailey who gave her the nickname "Maya", which came from "My" or "May Sister".

Although she learned pride and self-confidence from her grandmother, her life was turned upside-down when she was raped at the age of eight by her mother's boyfriend while visiting St Louis.

We celebrate the best of Google's graphic art works. Her renowned book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was published in 1969 and was nominated for a National Book Award. In her 1996 GLAAD speech, she famously said, "I am gay".

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This resulted in extreme trauma, and believing she had caused the man's death by mentioning her name, she refused to speak for five years. Initially denied because of her race, she eventually became the first African-American to hold the position in San Francisco.

In 1959 she moved to NY where she befriended writers and became involved in the civil rights movement.

Through her works, Dr. Angelou gave a voice to millions.

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Google celebrates John Harrison's 325th birthday. During that period, she immersed herself in literature and poetry. Her vast impact on popular culture was also felt through a host of award nominations, public accolades, and more than 50 honorary degrees. US President Barack Obama honoured her with Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Her life was a true testament to the power of the Black woman.

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