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Black History: Little Known Facts Of Legendary Author & Poet Dr. Maya Angelou

Did you know Dr. Angelo loved wearing Uggs?!

The life of Dr. Maya Angelou was full of courage, strength, love, and triumph. She never gave up no matter the circumstances she faced. Dr. Angelou did always her best leaving her mark on this world. I wanted to share with some little known facts about Dr. Angelou’s journey that inspired me to begin writing.

Maya Angelou’s name came from her older brother, Bailey Jr., who gave her the nickname “Maya” which means “my sister” and her first husband Anastasios Angelopulos.

Maya was mute for 5 years. While visiting her mother, Maya was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. Her uncle killed the man who raped her after Maya’s older brother told him what happened. She didn’t speak for five years because she felt her “words brought death”.

Maya attended high school and won a scholarship to study dance and drama at California’s Labor school but dropped out of school and became the first African-American female cable car conductor shortly after.

Maya was a “teen mom” giving birth to her son Guy at age 16.

She never attended college but she has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees and taught classes in philosophy, ethics, theology, theatre, writing, and science..

Maya mastered six languages besides English. French, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Fanti a West African Language.

She was friends with Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, James Baldwin, and Martin Luther King Jr.

When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 1968, Dr. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday due to the fact that it was the same date. She sent his widow, Coretta Scott King flowers on that day until Mrs. King’s death in 2006.

Dr. Angelou had a meticulous writing ritual. She would wake at 5am and have a cup of coffee by 6am. After her coffee, she would check into a hotel then instruct the staff to remove pictures or decor off of the walls in the room. Dr. Angelou took a bible, Roget’s Thesaurus, a deck of playing cards, and a bottle of sherry with her. She would start writing by 7am and stay until 12:30pm sometimes later if all was going well.

She was an excellent cook and even published two cookbooks!

For more facts about Dr. Maya Angelou click Buzzfeed.com