At last, Maya Angelou shares her deepest personal relationship with her mother. Vivian Baxter’s petite size and larger-than-life spirit was absent during most of Maya Angelou’s early years. Her feelings of abandonment, and reconciliation with her mother a decade later, has be untold until now. The shift, the healing, and the evolution that became the love and respect that fostered May Angelou’s rise to global heights is the subject of this Memoir.
Dr. Maya Angelou is a global renaissance woman, and one of the most influential voices of our time. She is a celebrated Poet, Memoirist, Novelist, Educator, Civil Rights Activist, Filmmaker, Historian, Producer, Actress, and Dramatist. She was born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, then raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas where she absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture.
In 1954 and 1955, she toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. In 1958, she moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild. In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. During her years abroad, Dr. Angelou read and studied voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti.
After Malcolm X’s assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Dr. Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated. Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received 3 Grammy Awards. Her reading of her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Clinton’s Inauguration in l993 was broadcast live around the world. She has received over 30 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.