DOZ Issue 36 October 2018 - Page 17

external motivation. She recognized her talents and began to use them to shape her future. During the Decolonization of Africa, she worked as a Journalist in Egypt and Ghana. She started her acting career also as a young adult; she was one of the cast members of the opera, Porgy and Bess. In a short while, Maya became many things; she became the amazing wonder no one imagined. She transformed into an American singer, memoirist, poet, a civil right activist with the interest of the people of color at heart. She worked with Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X who were themselves, profound activists. The once stigmatized woman became one of the voices of the black community, especially for the women. She constantly wrote books addressing the issues of racism and defending black cultures. This led to the removal of her books from some libraries in America. In 1969, she published the biography “I know why the Caged Birds Sings,” which talked about her life “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” experience up to the age of seventeen. This was her first biography that gave her worldwide recognition, inspired and gave hope to those who had suffered the same fate as she had. She recited her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20th 1993, thus becoming the first poet to make a recitation during an inauguration. Maya received lots of honorary degrees and awards in her lifetime, which included Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1982. She died on the 28th of May 2014, at the age of 86. Before her death, she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry. She was a victim, lost in the darkness, she was no one, but she became an icon who reached out to the world, shared her pain, and ascended the height of significance before her death. DOZ Magazine October 2018 17 «