Published on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Update: Tickets to the Feb. 4 presentation are no longer available.
York College will present "An Evening with Maya Angelou" at 5 p.m., Feb. 4, in the Collegiate Performing Arts Center. Student tickets (limit of two per person) will be available beginning Jan. 23 in the Office of Student Activities and Orientation, Room 205 of the Iosue Student Union. If tickets remain, faculty and staff will be able to pick up tickets (limit of two per person) Jan. 28. If tickets still remain, the York community may pick up free tickets (limit of two per person) beginning Jan. 31. For more information, call 717.815.1239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. She was born on April 4, 1928, and was raised in St. Louis. Mo., and Stamps, Ark. As a teenager, her love for the arts won her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School. At 14, she dropped out to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school, giving birth to her son, Guy, a few weeks after graduation.
In 1954 and 1955, Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera "Porgy and Bess." She studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on television variety shows and, in 1957, recorded her first album, "Calypso Lady." In 1958, she moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild, acted in the historic Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's "The Blacks," and wrote and performed "Cabaret for Freedom."
In 1960, Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. The next year, she moved to Ghana and taught at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review, and wrote for The Ghanaian Times.
While in Ghana, Angelou met with Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build his new Organization of African American Unity. Shortly after her arrival in the United States, Malcolm X was assassinated, and the organization dissolved. Martin Luther King, Jr. then asked Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King's assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated.
Angelou began work on the book that would be published in 1970 as "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction now includes more than 30 bestselling titles. Angelou also wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film "Georgia, Georgia." Her script, the first by an African American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She continued to appear on television and in films, including the television adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots" (1977) and John Singleton's "Poetic Justice" (1993). In 1996, she directed her first feature film, "Down in the Delta." In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary "The Black Candle," directed by M.K. Asante.
Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received three Grammy Awards. President Bill Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Angelou's reading of her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" was broadcast live around the world.
Angelou has received over 30 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.