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Mayas childhood and youth
CHILDHOOD and YOUTH
1928, April 4 – Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis (Missouri, the United States). Her real name is Marguerite Annie Johnson, she is given the name Maya Angelou in her early twenties, after her debut performance as a dancer at the Purple Onion cabaret.
Parents – mother: Vivian Johnson-nurse and realtor, father: Bailey Johnson-naval dietician.
Siblings: brother Bailey.
1931 – after her parents' divorce Maya and her brother are sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps in Arkansas. Stamps is racially divided and Maya experiences being a black girl in the racist society. Despite the odds, her grandmother manages to instill pride and religiousness in Maya.
1936 – the children are sent back to Saint Louis to their mother. There, at the age of 8, Maya is raped by her mother's friend. That tragedy results in Maya becoming mute for nearly five years. She is sent to Stamps again because no-one can handle the grim state Maya is in.
In Stamps a woman named Mrs. Flowers comes to young Maya's rescue. Thank to her help she regaines pride and confidence she once had.
1940 – Maya and her brother get back to their mother again. Living with her mother soon becomes too difficult for her and she runs away to live with her father and his girlfriend. Living with him turns out to be just as problematic. After a month she is with her mother again. All the problems are back as well. Maya is determined to prove she is not a girl anymore, but a mature woman. Soon she finds herself pregnant.
1944 – at the age of 16 Maya Angelou delivers her son, Guy.
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