Maya Angelou is a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She lectures throughout the US and abroad and is Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. She has published ten best selling books and countless magazine articles.
At the request of President Clinton, she wrote and delivered a poem at the 1993 presidential inauguration. Dr. Angelou began her career in drama and dance. She married a South African freedom fighter and lived in Cairo where she was editor of The Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. In Ghana, she was feature editor of The African Review and taught at the University of Ghana. In the 1960s, at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
, Ms. Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the Bicentennial Commission and by President Jimmy Carter to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year. In the film industry, through her work in script writing and directing, Maya Angelou has been a groundbreaker for black women. In television, she has made hundreds of appearances. Her renowned autobiographical account of her youth, “I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings,” was a two hour TV special on CBS.
She has written and produced several prize winning documentaries, including “Afro-Americans in the Arts,” a PBS special for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. Dr. Angelou speaks French, Spanish, Italian and West African Fanti.