Thankfully not “unsung”, but today’s hero is none other than stunningly influential poet, activist and positive human force, Maya Angelou. If you have a spare 2 minutes today, watch her delivering her inspirational poem, ‘Still I Rise’ (video below).
Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, poet and award-winning author known for her acclaimed 1969 memoir, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, and her plentiful poetry and essay collections. Angelou’s numerous autobiography volumes explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression.
While still in high school she became the first ever African American female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to a son at age sixteen.
Later Angelou studied dance and drama and went on to a career in theatre. She appeared in Porgy and Bess, which gave performances in twenty-two countries. She also acted in several plays on and off Broadway, including Cabaret for Freedom, which she wrote with Godfrey Cambridge. She was the feature editor of the African Review in Accra, Ghana from 1964 to 1966. After returning to the United States, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requested she serve as northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Her best known poem is perhaps On the Pulse of Morning, which she composed and delivered for the inauguration of U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1993, but today we have shared her inspirational poem, ‘Still I Rise’ shown below: