Maya Angelou attained international fame in 1969 with the publication of her first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; however, the seeds of her acclaim were planted long before. Raised primarily by her grandmother in Arkansas, Maya attributed her first important lessons to the woman she affectionately calls "Momma." With those lessons and other hard-earned knowledge, Maya progressed from being a victim of racism and sexual brutality with low self-esteem to a confident, skilled, dignified artist who is globally recognized for her wisdom.


Capturing Maya Angelou in a brief biography is impossible, for her many gifts and accomplishments read more like a "group biography." Interviewed in 2003 about her amazingly productive life and reputed wisdom, Maya said, "I'm considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. I've never been bored in my life" (Moore). She...
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