New Documentary Highlights Maya Angelou’s Life
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
A new documentary released during Black History month seeks to chronicle the life of America’s favorite poet and civil rights activist. Co-produced by Rita Coburn Whack and Bob Hercules, the documentary takes a look at her early childhood when she was reportedly raped, shut down and didn’t speak for five years.
She went on to become an accomplished singer and actress, then worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. After King’s assassination, with encouragement by the author James Baldwin, Angelou penned “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” her first of seven autobiographies.
She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Ghana during the decolonization of Africa, according to her Wikipedia page.
In 1993, she recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. She was the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. For more information, check out their facebook page: