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Nine Things You Should Know About Maya Angelou

Today, the world throws a spotlight on renowned poet, director, actress and activist, Maya Angelou. The author who died in 2014 from an undisclosed illness walked in the path of rare icons.

In honour of her 90th posthumous birthday and in recognition of her contribution to the literary world, Google is celebrating her today with a special doodle (video).

Here are some of her profound events you never knew about:

1. She was raped by her mother’s boyfriend when she 7 pm. Insulted and angry at the incident, her uncles connived and killed him. Traumatized by the incident, she went mute for a period of time.


2. Her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, was rated as the best non-fiction literary book by an African American and remained on the on The New York Times bestseller for a period of two years. The book was made into a motion film in 1979.

Photo credit: Famous Biographies

3. She is the first female cab conductor in San Francisco.

4. She loved healthy living and wrote several books on health and cooking and won NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work cookbook, won the in 2005. Her last book was a 2010 cookbook Great Food, All Day Long.

5. When her friend Martin Luther died on her birthday in 1968, she stopped celebrating and mourned him for years. For 30 years after Luther’s death in 2006, she sent his wife Coretta Scott King flowers in commemoration.

6. She featured in a rap song by Common, The Dreamer. She later said she was disappointed by the use of the racial epithet in the song

7. Maya Angelou was a cast in Roots. She played the role of Nyo Boto, grandmother of Kunta Kinte.

8. She once held a position in the University of Ghana.

9. She was once a journalist in Africa.

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