Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis. She got a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor school. She studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on a variety of TV shows, and in 1957 she recorded her first album called “Calypso Lady.” In 1958 Maya joined the Harlem Writers Guild in New York. She performed in the historic Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's, “The Blacks.” She wrote the production “Cabaret for Freedom” and performed in it. In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as an editor of the English language weekly called the “The Arab Observer.” The next year, she moved to Ghana where she taught at the University of Ghana School of Music and Drama. In Ghana, Maya worked as a feature editor for the “African Review” and wrote for The Ghanaian Times.
She speaks French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language, Fanti. When Maya was in Ghana she met with Malcolm X. This lead to her return to America where she helped Malcolm X build his new Organization; African American Unity. Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, where she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received 3 Grammy Awards. She composed a poem that was read at