Maya Angelou on Sesame Street Biography Information

Maya Angelou

BORN: Marguerite Johnson, April 4, 1928, St. Louis, Missouri

EDUCATION: Attended public school in Stamps, Arkansas and San Francisco, California
 
PUBLICATIONS:
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, 1970. On February 26, 1995, Bantam Books congratulated Dr. Angelou for being the first African-American to have the longest-running record (2 years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller List.
GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME, 1974.
SINGIN' AND SWINGIN' AND GETTIN' MERRY LIKE CHRISTMAS, 1976.
THE HEART OF A WOMAN, 1981. In September 1997, it was USA Today's "Best-Selling Book." It also jumped from #83 to #11 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller List.
ALL GOD'S CHILDREN NEED TRAVELING SHOES, 1986.
A SONG FLUNG UP TO HEAVEN, 2002.


MODERN LIBRARY

THE COMPLETE COLLECTED AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF MAYA ANGELOU, released September 2004


PERSONAL ESSAYS
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS

WOULDN'T TAKE NOTHING FOR MY JOURNEY NOW, 1993.
EVEN THE STARS LOOK LONESOME, 1997. It jumped from #79 to #22 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-seller List.
HALLELUJAH! THE WELCOME TABLE: A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES WITH RECIPES, 2004.


CHILDREN'S BOOKS
STEWART, TABORI & CHANG

LIFE DOESN'T FRIGHTEN ME, 1993.


CLARKSON POTTER

MY PAINTED HOUSE, MY FRIENDLY CHICKEN AND ME, 1994.
KOFI AND HIS MAGIC, 1996.


RANDOM HOUSE, 2004

MAYA'S WORLD: Izak of Lapland 
MAYA'S WORLD: Angelia of Italy 
MAYA'S WORLD: Renée Marie of France
MAYA'S WORLD: Mikale of Hawaii


POETRY
RANDOM HOUSE & BANTAM BOOKS

JUST GIVE ME A COOL DRINK OF WATER 'FORE I DIIIE, 1971. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
OH PRAY MY WINGS ARE GONNA FIT ME WELL, 1975.
AND STILL I RISE, 1978.
SHAKER, WHY DON'T YOU SING, 1983.
NOW SHEBA SINGS THE SONG, 1987.
I SHALL NOT BE MOVED, 1990.
"ON THE PULSE OF MORNING," 1993. This poem was written at the request of William Jefferson Clinton for his Inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States, January 20, 1993, and was published by Random House in March 1993.
THE COMPLETE COLLECTED POEMS OF MAYA ANGELOU, 1994.
PHENOMENAL WOMAN: FOUR POEMS FOR WOMEN, 1995.
"A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH," 1995. It was recited at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations on June 26, 1995 and was published by Random House in October 1995.
"FROM A BLACK WOMAN TO A BLACK MAN," 1995. It was delivered at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. on October 16.
"AMAZING PEACE," 2005. Read by her at the lighting of the Pageant of Peace, National Christmas Tree Ceremony at the White House on December 1, 2005
"MOTHER, A CRADLE TO HOLD ME," April 2006
"CELEBRATIONS, RITUALS OF PEACE & PRAYER," October 31, 2006


POETRY
STERLING PUBLISHING
 
PLAYS

CABARET FOR FREEDOM, 1960. It was produced off-Broadway (in collaboration with Godfrey Cambridge).
THE LEAST OF THESE, 1966. It was produced in Los Angeles.
GETTIN' UP STAYED ON MY MIND, 1967.
AJAX, 1974. It was produced in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum.
AND STILL I RISE, 1976. It was produced in Oakland, California at the Oakland Ensemble Theater.
MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL, 1988. It was produced in London and the author was Errol John.


SCREENPLAYS

GEORGIA, GEORGIA, 1972. It was produced by Cinerama, Sweden.
ALL DAY LONG, 1974. It was produced by American Film Institute in Los Angeles.


ACTING
TELEVISION APPEARANCES

Writer for Oprah Winfrey series Brewster Place.
PBS Documentaries: Who Cares About Kids & Kindred Spirits, KERA-TV, Dallas, TX; Maya Angelou: Rainbow in the Clouds, WTVS-TV, Detroit, MI; and To the Contrary, Maryland Public Television.
Two plays for national viewing: Tapestry and Circles, directed in Hollywood, 1975.
Author of six national one half-hour programs, interviews and profiles: Assignment America, which premiered January 1975.
Ten one-hour programs (NET-TV) Black, Blues, Black, National Education Television, writer, producer and director, 1968.
Ghanaian Broadcasting Corporation, Contributor, 1963-64.
Afro-American in the Arts, PBS Documentary.
Humanities Through the Arts, 30 half-hour segments.
Three Way Choice, CBS Miniseries; author and executive producer.
Sister, Sisters, NBC, 1982.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, CBS, co-author, 1979.
Two programs for the United States Information Agency, writer and host: Part One: The Legacy; Part Two: The Inheritors; 1976.
Touched By An Angel, "Tree of Life" episode, 1995.
The Amen Corner, Chris/Rose Productions with Miramax (work-in-progress), 1999.
Down in the Delta weekly television series (work-in-progress), 1999.
Moesha, Warner Brothers Television, 1999.
Runaway, CBS/Hallmark Movie, December 10, 2000


FILMS & PLAYS

PORGY AND BESS (George Gershwin), played "Ruby" in European tour, 1954-55.
CALYPSO, Off-Broadway, 1957.
THE BLACKS (Jean Genet), played "White Queen" Off-Broadway, 1960. It won the Obie Award in 1961 for the best Broadway play, both American and foreign.
MOTHER COURAGE (Bertold Brecht), played title role Off-Broadway, 1964.
MEDEA (Jean Anouilh), played "Nurse" in Hollywood.
LOOK AWAY (Jerome Kilty), played "Mrs. Keckley," Broadway, 1973.
ROOTS (Alex Haley), played "Nyo Boto" (Grandmother), Hollywood, 1977. She received an Emmy Nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, 1995, Universal Pictures.
DOWN IN THE DELTA, 1998, Miramax Films, Directorial Film Debut. It was released on video on June 1999.
MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION, “Aunt May,” written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry with Reuben Cannon Lion’s Gate Film, 2006. (Original poem, In and Out of Time)


RADIO
 

OPRAH & FRIENDS (Talk Host), XM Satellite Radio, station 156, launched September 25, 2006 at NASDAQ.


RECORDINGS
SCORES

FOR THE LOVE OF IVY, Sidney Portier film.
MISS CALYPSO, 1957, Liberty Records.
GEORGIA, GEORGIA, 1972.
ALL DAY LONG, 1974.
MISS CALYPSO, 1996.


SPOKEN WORD ALBUMS

THE POETRY OF MAYA ANGELOU, 1969, GWP Records.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS, 1981, University of Wisconsin.
BEEN FOUND, Music & Spoken Word Album with Ashford & Simpson, 1996.



CONTRIBUTOR OF ARTICLES,
SHORT STORIES & POEMS TO THE FOLLOWING PERIODICALS:

Black Scholar
Redbook
Harper's Bazaar
Essence
Ebony
Cosmopolitan
California Living
Mademoiselle
Life
Ghanaian Times
Chicago Daily News
The New York Times


ADDITIONAL WORKS

THE TRUE BELIEVERS, a book of poems in collaboration with Abbey Lincoln.
ALL DAY LONG, a collection of short stories.


OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Taught modern dance at THE ROME OPERA HOUSE and THE HAMBINA THEATRE in Tel Aviv.
Was the Northern Coordinator for THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, appointed at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1959-60.
Associate Editor of the ARAB OBSERVER (English language news weekly), Cairo, Egypt, 1961-62.
Assistant Administrator and teacher, School of Music & Drama, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, 1963-66.
Feature Editor of AFRICAN REVIEW, Accra, Ghana, 1964-66.
Contributor of freelance articles, GHANAIAN TIMES, 1964-66.
Contributor to RADIO GHANA, 1964-66.
Writer-in-Residence, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS IN LAWRENCE, 1970.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY, 1974.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY, 1974.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY of SACRAMENTO, 1974.
Appointed member of AMERICAN REVOLUTION BICENTENNIAL COUNCIL by President Gerald Ford, 1975-6.
Served on Jimmy Carter's PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR, 1978-79.
Appointed the First REYNOLD'S PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN STUDIES AT WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY, Winston-Salem, N.C., a lifetime appointment since 1981.
Selected by American Council of the Arts to deliver the NANCY HANKS LECTURE in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 1990.
Panelist at INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF HUMAN SYSTEMS in Zermatt, Switzerland, June 1990.
Second Poet is U.S. History to have the honor of WRITING AND RECITING AN ORGINIAL WORK AT THE PRESIDENT'S INAGURATION where she delivered her dedicatory poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," 1993. 
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, "Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album" for PHENOMENAL WOMAN, 1995.
United States of America, Congressional Record, 104th Congress, House of Representatives, "Tribute to Maya Angelou" by the Honorable Kweisi Mfume, Maryland Congressman, 1996.
Wrote Invocation & Benediction for JESSYE NORMAN SINGS FOR THE HEALING OF AIDS, 1996.
Microsoft Encarta Africana Encyclopedia, presenter for THE AFRICAN DIASPORA, 1998.
Board of Governors, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA's Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child & Family Education at Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, 1998.


LANGUAGES FLUENT IN:

ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, ITALIAN, ARABIC, WEST AFRICAN FANTI


AFFILIATIONS

Member, The Director's Guild of America.
Member, Equity.
Member, AFTRA (American Federation Television Radio Artists).
Advisory Board, Woman's Prison Association.
Harlem Writer's Guild.
Member, The National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year.
Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, London, England, named a center for Maya Angelou. NSPCC Maya Angelou C.P.T. and Family Centre was opened by Dr. Angelou on June 20, 1992.
Ambassador, Unicef International, 1996.
Member, Doctors without Borders, New York, 1996.
Member, W.E.B. duBois Foundation, Inc., Amherst, MA.
Member, Advisory Board, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC.
Member, Advisory Board, First Commercial Bank, Little Rock, AR.
Member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Washington, D.C.
Member, Clinton Global Initiative, New York, NY


HONORS & AWARDS

Chubb Fellowship Award, Yale University, 1970. Nomination, National Book Award, for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Pulitzer Prize Nomination for JUST GIVE ME A COOL DRINK OF WATER 'FORE I DIIIE, 1972.
Honorary Degree, Portland State University, 1973.
Tony Award Nomination for her performance in Look Away, 1973.
Board of Trustees/American Film Institute, 1975.
Rockfeller Foundation Scholar in Italy (Scholar-in-residence at the Bellagio Study & Conference Center, 1975.
Honorary Degree, Smith College, 1975.
Honorary Degree, Mills College, 1975.
Honorary Degree, Lawrence University, 1976.
Ladies' Home Journal Award ("Woman of the Year in Communication"), 1976.
Emmy Award Nomination, made-for-television movie Roots, 1977.
Golden Eagle Award, Documentary for PBS, Afro-American in the Arts, 1977.
Honorary Degree, Columbia College, 1979.
Honorary Degree, Occidental College, 1979.
Honorary Degree, Atlanta University, 1980.
Honorary Degree, University of Arkansas at Pinebluff, 1980.
Honorary Degree, Wheaton College, 1981.
First Reynold's Professor, Wake Forest University (lifetime appointment since 1981).
Honorary Degree, Kean College of New Jersey, 1982.
Honorary Degree, Claremont Graduate School, 1982.
Honorary Degree, Spelman College, 1983.
Honorary Degree, Boston College, 1983.
Ladies' Home Journal, "Top 100 Most Influential Women," 1983.
The Matrix Award, Field of Books from Women in Communication, Inc., 1983.
Honorary Degree, Winston-Salem State University, 1984
Honorary Degree, University Brunesis, 1984.
Honorary Degree, Rollins College, 1985.
Honorary Degree, Howard University, 1985.
Honorary Degree, Tufts University, 1985.
Honorary Degree, University of Vermont, 1985.
Honorary Degree, North Carolina School of the Arts, 1986.
The North Carolina Award in Literature (the highest honor the state bestows), 1987.
Honorary Degree, North Carolina School of the Arts, 1988.
Honorary Degree, University of Southern California, 1989.
American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award, 1990.
Recipient of the Langston Hughes Award presented at the City College of New York, 1991.
Distinguished Woman of North Carolina, 1992.
Essence's "Woman of the Year," 1992.
Horatio Alger Award, 1992.
Woman in Film Award, 1992.
Honorary Degree, Northeastern University, 1982.
Inaugural Poet for President Bill Clinton, 1993.
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, 1993.
Honorary Degree, Skidmore College, 1993.
Honorary Degree, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1993.
Honorary Degree, Academy of Southern Arts & Letters, 1993.
Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album, 1993, for On The Pulse of Morning
Added to the Rollins College Walk of Fame, 1994.
Spingarn Award, NAACP, 1994.
Honorary Degree, American Film Institute, 1994.
Honorary Degree, Bowie State University, 1994.
Frank G. Wells Award, 1995.
Honorary Degree, University of Durham 1995.
Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album, 1995, for Phenomenal Woman
Lifetime Membership, N.A.A.C.P., Honeywell Corporation, Minneapolis, MN, 1996.
President's Award, Collegiate of Language Association for Outstanding Achievements, Winston-Salem, NC, 1996.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Los Angeles & Martin Luther King King, Jr. Legacy Association National Award, 1996.
The New York Black 100, Schomburg Center & The Black New Yorkers, 1996.
National Conference of Christians & Jews, Distinguished Merit Citation, 1997.
Homecoming Award, Oklahoma Center for Poets & Writers, 1997.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Expert-in-Residence Program, 1997.
North Carolina "Woman of the Year" Award, N.C. Black Publishers Association, 1997.
Presidential & Lecture Series Award, University of North Florida, 1997.
Black Caucus of American Library Association, Cultural Keepers Award, 1997.
Humanitarian Contribution Award, Boston, MA, 1997.
Honorary Degree, Shaw University, 1997.
Honorary Degree, Wake Forest University, 1997.
Alston/Jones International Civil & Human Rights Award, 1998.
Christopher Award, New York, NY, 1998.
American Airlines Audience, Gold Plaque Choice Award for Down in the Delta from Chicago International Film Festival, 1998.
City Proclamation, Winston-Salem, NC from Mayor Jack Cavanaugh, 1998.
Sheila Award, Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA, 1999.
Special Olympics World Games, Speaker, Raleigh, NC, 1999.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature, 1999.
Named one of "the top 100 best writers of the 20th Century" by Writer's Digest, 1999.
Honorary Degree, Lafayette College, 1999.
Presidential Medal of Arts from President Clinton, 2000
Honorary Degree, Hope College, 2001
Grammy for Best Spoken Word, 2002, for A Song Flung Up to Heaven
Honorary Degree, Columbia University, 2003
Honorary Degree, Eastern Connecticut University, 2003
Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album,” 2004, for Hallelujah! The Welcome Table.
New York Times Best Seller List, May 2006
John Hope Franklin Award, June 2006
Mother Teresa Award for her untiring devotion and service to humanity, August 2006

 

© 2006
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