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An Evening with Maya Angelou

By Ioana Patringenaru | May 1, 2006

Maya Angelou Speaks
When: 8 p.m., Saturday
May 6, 2006
Where: RIMAC Arena
Cost: $25/$35/$45
(Limited student tickets are available for $10.)

Maya Angelou, renowned poet, author and activist, will speak Saturday at UCSD about her work, her life and her times.

Angelou’s talk will take place at 8 p.m. at the RIMAC Arena. It is sponsored by AS Programming and the Office of Diversity at UCSD, both divisions of ASUCSD and the Student Life department.

Angelou, whose real name is Marguerite Johnson, was born in 1928 in St. Louis and grew up in segregated rural Arkansas. She later lived with a South African freedom fighter in Cairo, where she was editor of the Arab Observer, the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. In Ghana, she was feature editor of the African Review and taught at the University of Ghana. She later returned to the United States, where she became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Her best-selling memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” was published in 1970 and quickly earned a top stop on the bestsellers’ list. The book chronicles her life up until age 16, ending with the birth of her son, Guy.

Since then, Angelou has authored 12 best selling books and many magazine articles, which earned her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations. Angelou also lectures here and abroad. She speaks French, Spanish, Italian and West African Fanti. In 1993, she became the second poet in U.S. history to write and recite original work at a Presidential Inauguration.

She has written and produced several prize-winning documentaries, including “Afro-American in the Arts,” a PBS special, for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. She also was nominated for an Emmy Award for her acting in “Roots.” In theater, she produced, directed and starred off-Broadway in “Cabaret for Freedom” in collaboration with Godfrey Cambridge, starred in Genet's “The Blacks” at St Mark's Playhouse and adapted Sophocles’ “Ajax,” which premiered in Los Angeles in 1974.

Angelou also has received numerous honorary degrees. She became a lifetime member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002 and earned a National Medal of Arts in 2000.

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