Maya Angelou

             Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis Missouri to Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson. Her real name was Marquerite Johnson. She later adopted "Maya" as a nickname from her brother Bailey Jr., which means "my sister."
             After her parents divorced when she was three, Maya and her brother were sent to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Maya referred to her grandmother as "momma." Her grandmother tried nothing more but to instill religion as an important part of Maya's life.
             Maya experienced racism while living in Arkansas. She became use to the taunting from white children and the fact that her clothes were hand-me-downs from white women. One of her earliest memories is her being refused treatment by a white dentist.
             As a child, Maya dreamed of waking to find her "nappy black hair" metamorphosed into a "long, blonde bob" because life was better for a white girl than it was for a black girl. (www.geocities.com/Athens/1523/index.html)
             After five years of living with her grandmother, Maya and her brother were sent back to live with their mother in St. Louis.
             At age eight, Maya was raped by her mother's boyfriend. She confided in her brother about what had happened to her and shortly thereafter her rapist was found dead. Maya believed her voice killed him and stopped talking for several years. Maya was then sent back to live with her grandmother in Stamps. With the help of a woman known only as "Mrs. Flowers", Maya began to possess confidence and pride and began to mild herself into the person she is today. She also began speaking again.
             When Maya was twelve, she was sent back to live with her mother, this time in San Francisco, California. Her life with her mother was constant chaos. Maya even living for a month in a graveyard for wrecked cars with other homeless children just to escape her mother. Maya became pr...

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