Remarkable People

We were inspired to look more closely at some of the key figures that appear in our Little History books by an interaction with a reader on the Little History facebook page. We really liked the idea of finding out what the series has to say about all sorts of ‘remarkable people’, both heroes and villains, and we’re putting together this resource for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for help with your homework (!), or trying to fill a gap in your knowledge, Little History books and their cast of characters have plenty to offer.

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Maya Angelou

American Poet and Civil Rights Activist and Author of 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'

1928 – 2014

Dr Maya Angelou was a spokesperson for black women and a civil rights activist alongside Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, as well as an author, poet, educator, producer, actress and filmmaker. Born in St Louis, she earned her living in early adulthood as a cook, nightclub dancer, sex worker, singer and actress. She wrote seven autobiographies, the first of which, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969. Her book of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. She was awarded over 50 honorary degrees and received the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 amongst many other awards.

Read about the poetry of Maya Angelou in A Little History of Poetry by John Carey or check out more Remarkable People from Little Histories!

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A Little History of Poetry

A vital, engaging, and hugely enjoyable guide to poetry, from ancient times to the present, by one of our greatest champions of literature What is poetry? If music is sound organized in a particular way, poetry is a way of organizing language. It is la …

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