April 4 is a very important day in black history. On this day, in 1968, black activist Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. But today, we recognize another black activist, Maya Angelou who died in 2014. On her 90th posthumous birthday, Google Doodle has chosen to recognize her.
— Lerato Mbele (@mbele_lnb) April 4, 2018
Maya was a civil rights activist and poet. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. Her birth name was Marguerite Annie Johnson. Maya’s early life had quite a few bitter experiences. At seven years old, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
As a young adult, Maya was involved in several occupations. She was a fry cook, a sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer. Later on, she became the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. She went on to become a poet and writer.
Maya took an active role in the civil rights movement, joining the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and radical activist Malcom X. She was also a coordinator at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. King.
Her artistry and memoirs helped to advance the Black agenda and most importantly, the struggles of the Black woman in America.
She received several accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented to her by President Barack Obama in 2010.
Dr. Angelou was the first poet since 1961 to recite at the swearing in ceremony of a US president since 1961. She recited her verse “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s swearing in ceremony in 1992.
Today, Google celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou, a black literary and civil rights icon.
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