Poet, author, singer, dancer, activist, playwright and director Maya Angelou nee Marguerite Ann Johnson was born April 4, 1928. Over the span of her life and career, she accomplished many things, but the list of her extraordinary accomplishments may have started in San Francisco where, as a girl of 15, she became the first female African American streetcar conductor! Close to the end of her life, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Barack Obama.
One of her most notable works was her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” which begins with the story of her life in Stamps, Arkansas where she was raised with her brother Bailey by their grandmother for part of their childhood. Angelou overcame almost insurmountable hurdles in childhood throughout her life to become one of the most important voices of American history. She is thought by many to be a “symbol of strength and leadership for the plight of women and the underprivileged.”