Nelson Mandela and maya Angelou Essay

Submitted By blastajiona
Words: 828
Pages: 4

Laelle DeVaughn
September 11, 2014
Mrs. Grigg

Marguerite Annie Johnson, more commonly known as Maya Angelou, and Rolihlahla Mandela, who we know as Nelson Mandela were both wonderful and inspiring people. Although both phenomenal people recently passed away, they have left a mark on the lives of many. In many ways they are easily comparable, but they are also very different. Both of them became very well-known and successful, but their early lives, personalities, and careers were different in some aspects. Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, Cape Province South Africa. Mr. Mandela grew up with both of his parents being illiterate, which made it hard for him to learn inside his own home. Rolihlahla was placed into school, where his English teacher gave him the name “Nelson” in accordance with the custom of giving students Christian names. Nelson went on to the University College of Fort Hare to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree, but didn’t complete the degree due to expulsion after participating in a student protest; he later went back to receive his degree in 1943. Marguerite Annie Johnson was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis Missouri. Marguerite also started off the early years of her life a little rough. Her older brother Bailey Jr., nicknamed her “Maya”, derived from “My” or “My sister”. When Maya was three her parents divorced, and her father sent her and her brother to Stamps, Arkansas, alone by train, to live with their grandmother. Maya and her brother moved back to St. Louis years later to live with their mother again, when Maya was eight years old. Tragically, Maya was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, causing her to become mute for almost five years. During her time of silence, Maya developed her extraordinary memory, her love for books and literature, and her ability to observe and listen to the world around her. Both Maya and Nelson went through some very rough times during the early years of their lives, but they also experienced different things. Not only were their lives different, but these two extraordinary people had different personalities, while sharing many qualities. Both Angelou and Mandela can be described as hard working, determined, dedicated, and much more. Because of the trauma Maya experienced at such a young age, she became silenced for almost five years. Coming out of her silence, Maya still remained reserved and quiet. Unlike Ms. Angelou, Mandela came into this world with a fire in his heart. He felt it was necessary to stand up for what is right, which he began to practice at an early age. It wasn’t until her later years that Maya began to show the same fire. Angelou as well as Mandela were very determined and hungry for success. While both of them had many setbacks throughout their lives, they remained focused and strong. Being that they were activists, involved in their communities, took a stand, and expressed themselves, they share many of the same traits. Their love for people and their desire to help and change the lives of many, shows the loving, caring, and determined personalities the two of them share. Although Maya and Nelson were different people they were alike in many aspects of their lives, one being their careers. During