Keeping up with Angelou

She was born in 1928 and her birthname is Marguerite Johnson.  Maya was a childhood nickname given to her by her only sibling, Bailey; Angelou is a derivative of her first husband's last name.  She has been married three times.


She performed in the European-African touring company of Porgy and Bess (1950s).


She is the first black woman to have written an origianl movie script that was produced—the 1972 feature film, Georgia, Georgia.


She raced cars in Mexico.


She is a great-grandmother.


Her birthday is April 4, but she didn't celebrate it for years because that is the date Martin Luther King was assassinated.


She was part of the ensemble cast of the 1995 movie, How to Make an American Quilt, and she played the grandmother in the miniseries Roots.


Her current bestseller is Even the Stars Look Lonesome.


Her favorite place to disappear and rejuvenate is the kitchen.


She writes in a downtown Winston-Salem hotel, and may stay there in seclusion up to sixteen hours a day.


In October 1999, Angelou made a video about HIV/AIDS with several other notables for the NAACP.


In 1996, Angelou—along with other celebrities—joined the ceremony of reading names from the AIDS Quilt in Washington, D.C.