**Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928.
Maya Angelou is the author of ten bestselling
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", "Gather
Together In My Name" and "The Heart of a Woman",
as well as five collections of poetry and the
inaugural poem "On the Pulse of Morning", which
was read by her at the inauguration of President
Clinton on January 20, 1993.
In theatre, she produced, directed and starred in
"Caberet for Freedom" in collaberation with
Godfrey Cambridge at New York's Village Gate;
starred in Genet's "The Blacks" at St Mark's
Playhouse; and adapted Sophocles "Ajax" which
premiered in Los Angeles in 1974.
She wrote the original screenplay for "Georgia,
Georgia" and wrote and produced a ten-part TV
series on African traditions in American life.
In the sixties, at the request of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., she became the northern
coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference and in 1975 she received the Ladies
Home Journal Woman of the Year Award in
She received numerous honourary degrees and was
appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the
National Commission on the Observance of
International Woman's Year and by President Ford
to the American Revolutionary Bicentennial
Advisory Council. She is on the board of the
American Film Institute and is one of the few
female members of the Director's Guild.
Maya Angelou is currently Reynolds Professor at
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North
~Selected Bibliography of Maya Angelou~
"All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes"
New York: Random House, 1986.
"And Still I Rise New York"
New York: Random House, 1978.
"Gather Together in My Name"
New York: Random House, 1974.
"The Heart of a Woman"
New York: Random House, 1981.
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"
New York: Random House, 1969.
"I Shall Not Be Moved"
New York: Random House, 1990.
"Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie; the Poetry of Maya Angelou"
New York: Random House, 1971.
"Now Sheba Sings the Song"
New York: Dutton/Dial, 1987.
"Oh Pray My Wings are Gonna Fit Me Well"
New York: Random House, 1975.
"Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?"
New York: Random House, 1983.
"Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas"
New York: Random House, 1976.
"Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now"
New York: Random House, 1993.
~1884 - 1962~
"What other single human being has touched and
transformed the existence of so many? She walked
in the slums and ghettos of the world, not on a
tour of inspection, but as one who could not feel
contentment when others were hungry."
She was not the best mother, but she was voted
the most admired woman in America. She was
painfully shy and lacked self confidence for most
of her life, but she was called "the First Lady
of the Western World."
She was berated for interfering in affairs of
state, but she was the eyes and ears of the
president. She was raised in a wealthy,
cloistered society that knew none but its own,
but she spent her life as a champion of the
Despite what some people want us to
believe, she was no saint; instead, she was a
woman ahead of her time, a warm, loving, sincere,
kind, wise, strong, disciplined, very human
person who used her talents and position to help
bring about much needed social change.
After President Roosevelt's death on April 12,
1945, Mrs. Roosevelt continued public life.
She was appointed by President Truman to the
United States Delegation to the United Nations
General Assembly, a position she held until 1953.
She was chairman of the Human Rights Commission
during the drafting of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights which was adopted by the General
Assembly on December 10, 1948.
In 1953, Mrs. Roosevelt resigned from the United
States Delegation to the United Nations and
volunteered her services to the American
Association for the United Nations. She was an
American representative to the World Federation
of the United Nations Associations, and later
became the chairman of the Associations' Board of Directors.
She was reappointed to the United States
Delegation to the United Nations by President
Kennedy in 1961. Kennedy also appointed her as a
member of the National Advisory Committee of the
Peace Corps and chairman of the President's
Commission on the Status of Women.
Mrs. Roosevelt received many awards for her
humanitarian efforts. Eleanor Roosevelt was in
great demand as a speaker and lecturer, both in
person and through the media of radio and
television. She was a prolific writer with many
articles and books to her credit including a
In late 1935, she began a syndicated column, "My
Day", which she continued until shortly before
her death. She also wrote monthly question and
answer columns for the Ladies Home Journal
(1941-49) and McCalls (1949-62).
~Lillian Moller Gilbreth~
Lillian Moller was born into a wealthy
Californian family. Her father considered a
college education to be wasted on a girl, but he
allowed her to attend the University of
California at Berkeley.
She was a good student and set her sights on a
Phi Beta Kappa key. When graduation came,
however, she was told that the men had greater
need of this award than a girl, so she would be
unable to receive the prize she had earned.
One day before her thirty-seventh birthday, she
finally took her oral exams for her dissertation,
and received her Ph.D. from Brown University.
Less than ten years later, she found herself
alone with her surviving eleven children, the
youngest only two years old.
Just three days after her husband Frank died in
1924, Lillian reluctantly set off for Europe to
give a speech Frank had been scheduled to give at
the London Power Conference, and to preside over
the World Conference of Scientific Management, in
her husband's place.
She knew the only way to keep the family together
was to continue his work. She had written six
books with him, and knew his work as well as he
did. She hoped that if she did well in these two
assignments, she would be accepted in the male
world of engineering.
She had always been a quiet, timid woman, but now
there was no time for fear. Her family was at
Her hopes were not realized.
The major companies she and her husband had
worked with as consultants refused to renew their
contracts with her.
They could not believe she could comprehend the
technical aspects of the job, nor did they feel
she could handle the male employees she would
have to train.
While in Europe, she had created the idea of a
school. She felt that while she might not be
welcome in the factories, companies might send
employees to study with her, and then do the
actual training in the factories.
There were eight companies who signed on.
The school was held in her home. She worked ten
hours a day in her home office, and in the early
mornings and evenings, she oversaw the housework,
the children and all other family
The fee was low, but the once shy woman was proud
of her very first contract. She eventually proved
her ability and became well-known as an
Lillian soon had degrees from more than a dozen
colleges and became a professor of management at
She retired from Purdue when she was seventy, the
mandatory age at that time, but continued to work.
Her career spanned sixty years in which she
served as an advisor to every president from
Hoover to Johnson. She was chosen one of twelve
women capable of being president of the United States.
She did not officially retire until she was
ninety years old, three years before her death.
Her family is recalled by humorous reminiscences
by her children Frank Jr. and Ernestine in the
books "Cheaper By the Dozen" and "Belles on Their Toes".
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