The Phenomenal Woman

By: Nadia Jeffries

For Black History Month, I decided to write about this beautiful angel, Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was known as a poet, storyteller, autobiographer, and a civil rights activist. Her real name is Marguerite Johnson and she was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. Her life did not have such a smooth and easy start. At age seven, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. Her uncles killed the man and Maya felt responsible for his death. After that she did not talk as much for five years. She had an undying love for literature and language and she read powerful words from Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, W.E.B. Du Bois, and many more works. As a young teen, she fell in love with poetry. She graduated at the top of her eighth grade class.

That is just the beginning of how Maya Angelou got started. Some of her most famous are being analyzed and taught throughout schools. I remember in high school we read a few of her poems. I remember reading “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in junior high and analyzing “Phenomenal Woman” my first year in college. “Phenomenal Woman” is my favorite poem of hers. Every time I read it, I get reminded of the confidence I should have or the fact that I should not let others intimidate me……….because I am PHENOMENAL!