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Maya Angelou
Page Index:
Literary Cristicism
Maya Angelou Main Page


Literary Criticism
She has lectured on campuses, been a guest on many talk shows, and continues to be an extremely popular speaker. She is currently the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Reference Books
Johnson, J. "The Ebony Success Library." Vol. 1. The Southwestern Company: Nashville
        Tennessee. 1973. p.13.

The Black American Reference Book. Ed. Mabel M. Smythe. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs,
        New Jersey. 1976. pp.366, 766.

"The African American Scholar Interviews: Maya Angelou,"  African - American Scholar,
        January/February 1977. Howard University.

Williams, Ora American Black Women in the Arts and Sciences. The Scarecrow Press:
        New Jersey. 1978. pp.3, 9, 51, 136-7, 142-4, 175.

Encyclopedia Of Black America.  Ed. W. Augustus Low. McGraw Hill Book Company:
        New York. 1981. p.106.

Joyce, D. Blacks in the Humanities (1750 - 1984): A Selected Annotated Bibliography.
        Greenwood Press: New York. 1986. pp. 144-46.

Who's Who Among Black Americans.  Ed. Iris Cloyd. Gale Research: New York. 1991. p35.

The Kaiser Index to Black Resources (1946 - 1986).  Ed. Leine Spohn: Carlson Publishing:
        Brooklyn, New York. 1992. pp. 168-9.

Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century  Ed. Jessie Smith. Visible Ink Press: New York. 1998.
        pp. 15, 28-32, 288, 340.

GK Hall Bibliographic Guide: Black Studies. GK Hall & Company: New York. 2000. p.73.

African American Culture And History. Volume 1. Ed. J. Salzman. McMillan Reference U.S.A.:
          New York. 2001. p.40.

The Harvard Guide to African American History.  Ed. Evelyn Higginbotham. Harvard
        University Press: Cambridge Massachusetts. 2001. p.27.

Asante, Molefi 100 Greatest African Americans. Prometheus Books: New York. 2002. p.37.

African Americans And Political Participation.  Ed. Minion K.C. Morrison. ABC CLIO
         Santa Barbara, California. 2003. p.161.

Writers Of The Present. World Almanac & Book Of Facts. 2003. p.322.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Ebony 25. April 1970. pp. 62-64.

Angelou, Maya. For Years We Hated Ourselves. New York Times. April 16, 1972. pp. 14-15.

"See Maya Angelou At Rainbow Sign." The Post. April 20, 1972.

Creative Directions. Essence. May 1972. pp. 76-77. .

Bowser, Pearl. Ms. Angelou: A Reservoir Of Creativity. Encore Vol.1. Spring 1974.

Washington, Mary, Helen, Their Fiction Becomes Our Reality, African American World, August         1974.

Trescott, Jacqueline. Maya Bears Her Pain To Give Hope. The Washington Star-News.
        June 3, 1974. pp. D1-D2.

Hines, Beal. Maya Angelou: I Survived With Humor And With Love. Miami Herald
        November 30, 1976.

Speaking The Language Of Bread. Washington Post. November 25, 1976. p. C4

Lewis, Davis. Maya Angelou: From Harlem To The Heart Of Africa. Washington Post.
        October 4, 1981. pp. 1-2.

Darling, Lyn. Maya Angelou: Inside The Raging Storm Looking Out. October 31, 1981. p. D1.

A Poetic Point At Oakland U.  Detroit Free Press, February 17, 1982. p. 3A.

Brown, Joe. Words That Work. Washington Post. April 21, 1983.

Maxa, Rudy. A Caged Bird She's Not. Random House.

Carter Jr., Joseph A. Maya Angelou: Lighting candles Against The Dark. Washington
. October 1985. pp. 40-45.

Neubauer, Carol E. An Interview With Maya Angelou. The Massachusetts Review
        Vol. 18. Summer 1987.

Mustafa, Ayesha K. Maya Angelou: Personification Of The African American Spirit.
        Muslim Journal. July 14, 1989.

Goodman Jr. George. Maya Angelou on the Black Woman. New York Times.
        March 29, 1992.

Gillespie, Marcia Ann.  Some Straight Talk From this Woman Of Many Talents Provided
        A Soothing Balm For The Spirit.
Essence. Dec 1992. pp. 48-52, 120.

Words of Inspiration. The Charlotte Observer. December 13, 1992.

Erstein, Hap. Pulse Enriches President's Words.  Washington Times. January 21, 1993.

Sterling, Tanoah V. The Marvel Of Maya. The Community News. October 14, 1993. p. 4.

Phillip, Mary-Christine. Between Laughter And Tears: An Unexpurgated Maya Angelou
        On Stage.
Black Issues In Higher Education. March 9, 1995. pp. 10-12.

Jones, Marsha. Maya Angelou: A Woman of Distinction.  About...Time. December 1993

Stepping Lively. Jet Magazine. January 6, 1997. p. 38.

Brown, Avonie. Maya Angelou: The Phenomenal Woman Rises Again...And Again.
        Philadelphia Tribune. June 6, 1997. p. E4.

Maya Angelou: When She Was Young Gifted And Unknown. Tri-County Challenger.
        August 2, 1997. p. 9.

Brown, Deneen L. Female Poets To Face Off In Bowie 'Slam': Book Signing By
        Maya Angelou.
August 28, 1997. p. 2.

Armstrong, Lind. Dr. Maya Angelou Cooks To Raise Money For Dr, Betty Shabazz Foundation.
        New York Amsterdam News. October 2, 1997. p.31.

Maya Angelou Among 21 Women Inducted Into National Women's Hall Of Fame.  Daytona
July 29, 1998.

Angelou Receives National Medal Of Arts.  Savannah Tribune. January 3, 2001.

Bynum, Russ. African American Monument To Display Poem Of Maya Angelou. Orlando                 Times. February 22, 2001.

Bynum, Russ. Maya Angelou Says Savannah can Display Her Quote On Slavery. The Times
        February 23, 2001.

Pierce, Ponchitta. Maya's Song. Face-to-Face. September/ October 2001. p. 26.

Alicia Keys & Maya Angelou. Scholastic Scope Vol. 50, Issue 11. February 11, 2002. p. 18.

Kizis, Sarah. Two Women: Maya Angelou's Character Sketches.  Writing Vol. 24,
        Issue 6. April/ May 2002. p.16.

Minzesheimer, Bob .Angelou's Memoirs End With a Song. USA Today. April 2, 2002.

Angala, M. Maya: A Precious Prism. Black Issues Book Review. March - April 2002. pp. 30-33.

Poet's Words Clear Way Washington Times. May 2002. p. A30.

Weaks, Lynton. Hallmark Of A Poet: At 74 Maya Angelou Gets A New Line Of Verse
        And Many Old Fans.
May 11, 2002.

McWhorter, John. Saint Maya. New Republic Vol. 226, Issue 19. May 20, 2002. p. 35.

Maya Angelou Softens Slavery Quote.  Afro Times. May 25, 2002. p. C4.

Wilce, Hillary. Maya Angelou: My Best Teacher. Times Educational Supplement Issue 4486.
        June 21, 2002. p. 4.

Als, Hilton. Songbird.  New Yorker Vol. 78, Issue 22. August 5, 2002. p. 72.

Book Reviewing, African-American Style.  Nation Vol. 275, Issue 8. September 16, 2002. p. 25.

Hellman, Peter. Coming Up Harlem.  Smithsonian Vol. 33, Issue 8. November 2002. p. 74.

Angelou, Maya. A Voice Of Power: THE MAYA ANGELOU STORY.  Scholastic Scope Vol. 51,
        Issue 7. November 9, 2002. p. 4.

Coyne, Kate. Maya Angelou's Holiday Spirit.  Good Housekeeping Vol. 235, Issue 6. p. 228.

Marie, Heather. A Song Flung Up to Heaven.  Horizons Vol. 16, Issue 3. Winter 2003. p. 40.

How High Is Your Black Hi-Q. Black Fax Vol. 11, Issue 41. Winter 2003. p. 26. .

Wallis, T.J. What Does Success Mean to You. Career World Vol. 31, Issue 5.
        February/ March 2003. p.6.

Maughan, Shannon, Grammy Gold. Publishers Weekly Vol. 250, Issue 9. March 3, 2003. p. 38.

Hein, Kenneth. Hallmark Taps Poet Angelou For Mom's Day. Brand week Vol.44, Issue13.
        March 31, 2003. p. 14.

April Theatre Almanac.  American Theatre Vol. 3 Issue 4. April 2003. p. 9.

Moore, Lucinda. A Conversation With Maya Angelou At 75. Smithsonian Vol. 34. April 2003.
        p. 96.

Fazioli, Carol. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. School Library Journal Vol.49, Issue 11.
        November 2003. p. 84.

Kofi And His Magic And My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken And Me.  Ebony Vol. 59,
        Issue 3  January 2004. p.25.

Mattson, Jennifer. Black Female Writers Shake Things Up. USA Today. December 16, 2003.

The Humanities Division, The Main Library, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, 
        Trinidad and Tobago. A chronology on the life and achievements of Maya Angelou
        Bulletin Humanitas, Vol 5. No.8, April 2003.

Other Sources / Critical Information
Jelinek, Estelle C., In Search of the African American Female Self: African-American
        Women's Autobiographies and Ethnicity',
Women's Autobiography, 1980.

Tate  Claudia,  African American Women Writers at Work, l983.

Neubauer, Carol E., Displacement and Autobiographical Style in Maya Angelou's The Heart
        of a Woman,
African American Literature Forum,1983.

Evans, Mari, Maya Angelou, African American Women Writers

Maya-ness is Next to Godliness, GQ, July 1995.

Maya Angelou: A Celebrated Poet Issues a Call to Arms to the Nation's Artists , Mother Jones,         May/June 1995.

Maya Angelou's Inaugural Poem. By: Sahar, Annette D.; Brenninkmeyer, Sebastian M.; O'Connell,
        Daniel C.. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Jul1997, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p449, 15p;
       (AN 11303244)

Maya Angelou: Writing the “Black Voice” for the Multicultural Community By: Dobris, Catherine A..
        Howard Journal of Communications, 1996, Vol. 7, Issue 1, p.1; (AN COMMHJ131)

Maya Angelou: Writing the 'Black Voice' for the Multicultural Community. By: Dobis, Catherine A..         Howard Journal of Communications, January-March 1996, Vol. 7, Issue 1, p.1;
        (AN MMILIASMM19306)

Maya Angelou: Writing the 'Black Voice' for the Multicultural Community. By: Dobis, Catherine A..         Howard Journal of Communications, January-March 1996, Vol. 7, Issue 1, p.1;
        (AN MMILIASMM19306)

The poet as talk-show host. By: Freeman, Michael. MediaWeek, 5/8/95, Vol. 5 Issue 19, p5, 1/2p,
        2bw; (AN 9505302411)

Maya Angelu--wow! By: Martin, Ron. Communication World, Sep94, Vol. 11 Issue 8, p16, 1p, 1bw;
        (AN 9411102194)

Finding a Voice
       Maya Angelou through her love of literature and Shakespeare creates a "dual consciousness"
       which enables her to construct a unique vision of self that is both isolated and connected to the
       Black community


A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
                                                                                                 Maya Angelou

Courtesy G. Paul  Bishop Jr.: Photographer

I photographed Marguerite Johnson back when she was in her West Indian Calypso Dance period, performing at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. Audience Magazine needed photos of her for an article they were running. I did a number of these sessions for the magazine in exchange for an advertising spot. It is significant to note that it was at this point and time that this 26-year-old dancer adopted the stage name: Maya Angelou.                                                    

Maya Angelou Quotes:
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

The needs of society determine its ethics.

One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition -- about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive.

The honorary duty of a human being is to love.

Living a life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you'll end wrong.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.

Bitterness is like cancer.  It eats upon the host.  But anger is like fire.  It burns all clean

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.

Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure.

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told:  "I'm with you kid.  Let's go."

If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude.  Don't complain.

Effective action is always unjust.

Nothing will work unless you do.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.  In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Ask for what you want and be prepared to  get it.

If growing up is painful for the southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat.  
                                                         I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence.  It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.

The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration.  Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state.  Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way.  No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder -- in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.

Member, The Director's Guild of America.

Member, Equity.

Member,  A. F. T. R. A.  (American Federation Television Radio Artists).

Advisory Board, Woman's Prison Association.

Harlem Writer's Guild.

Member, The National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year.

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, London, England, named a center for Maya Angelou. N. S. P. C. C Maya Angelou C. P. T. and Family Centre was opened by Dr. Angelou on June 20, 1992.

Ambassador, UNICEF International, 1996.

Member, Doctors without Borders, New York, 1996.

Member, W. E. B. du Bois Foundation, Inc., Amherst, MA.

Member, Advisory Board, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC.

Member, Advisory Board, First Commercial Bank, Little Rock, AR.

Member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Washington, D.C.

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