“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” covers so much ground that it’s usually easy to forgive the filmmakers for not digging deeper. This is a documentary interested in breadth rather than depth, and on those terms it succeeds.
Maya Angelou AUTHOR, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, POET (1928–2014) Maya Angelou is a poet and award-winning author known for her acclaimed memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her numerous poetry and essay collections.
Born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. In 1971, Angelou published the Pulitzer Prize-nominated poetry collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die. She later wrote the poem “On the Pulse of Morning”—one of her most famous works—which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009. She died on May 28, 2014.
Many people recognize “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” as the title of an 1969 autobiographical novel by Maya Angelou, but Austin artist Deborah Roberts points to the original author of the phrase, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, as the inspiration for the smart group exhibition she’s organized at the George Washington Carver Museum.