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Doraville Recognizes Maya Angelou, Celebrates Black History Month | Community Spirit

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Doraville Recognizes Maya Angelou, Celebrates Black History Month
Doraville Recognizes Maya Angelou, Celebrates Black History Month

DORAVILLE, GA -- February is Black History Month, and the City of Doraville is celebrating by paying tribute to notable African-Americans every day and weekend in February.

On Monday, Feb. 14, Doraville is honoring Maya Angelou.

Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on Apr. 4, 1928, Angelou has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical novels that focus on her childhood and young adult years.

Angelou's first and most highly acclaimed volume, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, brought her international recognition and was nominated for the National Book Award. Her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

An early member of the Harlem Writers Guild, Angelou was active in the civil rights movement and even served as a coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina since 1991; she also holds the school's first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies.

Angelou gives approximately 80 lectures a year. She read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. In 1995, she was recognized for setting a record of the longest concurrent time (two years) on the New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

For more information on Angelou and the other Doraville recognizees, visit the city's Web site.