"for the black voice and any ear which can hear it. As a composer writes for musical instruments and a choreographer creates for the body, I search for sound, tempos, and rhythms to ride through the vocal cord over the tongue and out the lips of black people... I write because I am a black woman, listening attentively to her talking people."
Americans all over the country listened to her wonderful reading of "On the Pulse of the Morning," which is the poem she wrote for the occasion, and her call to action for the nation to celebrate and respect voices from different backgrounds including ethnic groups, generations and social classes.
She lived her early life in Stamps, Arkansas where she was raised by a religious grandmother.
At the age of eight, while visiting her mother in St. Louis, Angelou was raped by her mother's male friend, and the experience sent the child into a traumatic five-year silence.
When Angelou resided with her mother in California, she discovered the responsibilities of motherhood herself by age sixteen.
She joined the civil rights movement, serving as a coordinator in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Later, she worked as a editor, reporter, and administrator in Cairo, in addition to an administrative assistant at the University of Ghana.
Also, she taught in the California State University System, at Wichita University and at Wake Forest University.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Sister sister
- Blacks, Blues, Blacks (a public television miniseries)