Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in 1924 in St. Louis. Hailed as one of the greatest written and spoken voices in contemporary history, she has seen life from many viewpoints. In her early life, she was a Creole cook, a streetcar conductor, a cocktail waitress, a dancer, a madam in a house of ill repute and an unwed mother.
In honor of Black History month, each day I will be sharing with you profiles of 50 amazing African American role models who I interviewed in 1985 for my book And Still We Rise. Some, like Maya Angelou, who allowed me to re-frame the title of her poem And Still I Rise for my book, Dick Gregory, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Arthur Ashe have made their heavenly transitions.