For #BlackHistoryMonth, we're taking a look at our favorite African-American female fiction authors -- Alice Walker
For #BlackHistoryMonth, we're taking a look at our favorite African-American female fiction authors -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For #BlackHistoryMonth, we're taking a look at our favorite African-American female fiction authors -- Maya Angelou

For Black History month, we'd like to share some of our favorite African-American women fiction authors.

Our list continues with the comparable poet, mentor, and author, Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou
We selected this picture because Ms. Angelou laughed so often and freely.

Ms Angelou led such a BIG life that there's almost too much to talk about. Here are a few things that aren't usually highlighted.

  1. Ms. Angelou was the mentor and adopted mother to Oprah Winfrey. Ms. Angelou was able to translate her wisdom and love to support Oprah to become a cultural icon. Oprah Winfrey's work and life has directly impacted millions of people. Much of this is due to the support and wisdom given to her by Ms. Angelou.

  2. Ms. Angelou worked through her personal experiences and traumas to benefit others. If you have experienced severe trauma, you know how your heart and mind can be stuck in that time. Rather than relive that time over and over again in her mind, Ms. Angelou took the time and effort to work through it. She never let it hold her back. Her series of memoirs are a beautiful example of a translating trauma into wisdom. If you have experienced trauma, you may get a lot out of reading her autobiographies.

  3. She was good friends with Malcolm X and helped him create the Organization of Afro-American Unity. She was devastated by his murder. She gave herself some months to mourn before she was ready to write again.

  4. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked her to organize a march but he was killed before she had a chance to. His death devastated her. She was nurtured out of her depression by her dear friend, James Baldwin.

  5. She translated her grief into a ten part series called Blacks, Blues, Black!  for the National Educational Television which she wrote, produced and narrated. The ten part program discussed the role of African-American history and the creation of the blues.

  6. She was the first African-American woman to have her a screenplay produced into a film (Georgia, Georgia) and she was the first African-American to direct a major motion picture (Down in the Delta.)

  7. While she is known for her poetry, she also wrote:
    1. eight children's books,
    2. 7 plays,
    3. 14 films or television programs including the first screenplay ever written by an African-American woman ,
    4. acted in at least 8 films or television programs,
    5. sang on at least five albums, and
    6. created four spoken word programs.

Ms. Angelou translated every experience into grace and wisdom. She inspires us to do the same thing.

Our favorite poem is "I Rise", performed here by Serena Williams.

Haven't read Ms. Angelou? We recommend the book of poems, And Still I Rise. (Wikipedia | Amazon)







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