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BOMBSHELL Cosby News! – What The Media Didn’t Want You To See Part 2

BOMBSHELL Cosby News! – What The Media Didn’t Want You To See Part 1

Chad Coleman (Cutty) of THE WIRE Flips Out On The 4 Train in NYC

The quiet ride on the 4 train changed on its head when a couple on the train started whispering about the man. The woman asked the man if Coleman could possibly be the actor from the Walking Dead. Coleman is also widely known for his role as Cutty in The Wire. The couple were not very quiet about their suspicions as it seems Coleman heard their discussion. That was when he heard the words that threw him and then set off his anger, yelling to the couple asking where their humanity was.

According to TMZ, all it took was that one sentence. And do you blame him?

“No, we don’t know that n*****.”

Ebony Archer – ‘Gotta Believe In Me Conference’ Tour

ebony

Founded by Ebony Archer, the “Gotta Believe in Me Conference Tour” is launched through the entertainment company, Inspired By Purpose Inc
(IBP). in order to provide two platforms for youth and young adults: Entertainment and Education. The term that IBP uses is “Edutainment”
which means “to educate with the effective usage of entertainment.” The foundation of the conference is based on the song, “Gotta Believe In Me”.
The message of this song is to motivate others to believe in themselves to achieve their goals and aspirations. The message of the song has
established the purpose of the event, which is:
TO EDUCATE:
To educate the youth in the fields of media, entertainment, music
and film/TV and other areas, including but not limited to:
entrepreneurship, self-identity, etc.
TO EMPOWER:
To empower the youth and young adults to aspire to achieve and
accomplish great things in their present and future
TO INSPIRE:
To inspire the youth and young adults to accept their true identity
in order to help them discover their purpose in life.
TO ENTERTAIN:
 To entertain the youth and young adults through the means of
positive entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.ebony-archer.com.
GBIM tour flyer

Education At Its Best… Educator José Luis Vilson: This Is Not A Test

José Luis Vilson
José Luis Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator for a middle school in the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, NY. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in mathematics education from the City College of New York. He’s also a committed writer, activist, web designer, and father.

His first solo project, This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and the Future of Education, was published by Haymarket Books in the Spring of 2014, which was endorsed by American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, NYU professor Diane Ravitch, and Philadelphia principal and White House Champion of Change Chris Lehmann. He was also recently inducted into the Math for America Master Fellowship, cohort 2014.

He currently serves as a board member on the Board of Directors for the Center for Teaching Quality and the president emeritus of the Latino Alumni Network of Syracuse University. He writes regularly for Edutopia and TransformED / Future of Teaching, and has contributed to The New York Times, CNN.com, Education Week, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa NY. He has also been featured at PBS, Mashable, Idealist, Chalkbeat NY, TakePart, Manhattan Times, and the National Journal. He co-authored the bookTeaching 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Public Schools … Now and In The Future with Dr. Barnett Berry and 11 other accomplished teachers, and profiled in two other books: Teacherpreneurs (Berry, Byrd, Weider; 2013) and Teaching with Heart(Scribner, Intrator; 2014).

He was named one of GOOD Inc.’s GOOD100 in 2013 of leaders changing their worlds and an Aspen Ideas Scholar in 2013. He has also spoken at TEDxNYED, Education Writers Association Annual Conference, Netroots Nation, and the Save Our Schools March. His blog, TheJoseVilson.com, is well-regarded, named one of the top 25 Education Blogs by Scholastic, Education World, and University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s Teach 100.

Massachusetts Colleges Cut Ties With Bill Cosby After Rape Claims

Two Massachusetts colleges have severed ties with Bill Cosby after allegations of sexual assault surfaced, casting a cloud on his legacy as a celebrated entertainer. The University of Massachusetts Amherst asked the 77-year-old comedian to step down as an honorary co-chairman of the school’s fundraising campaign, a university spokesman said Wednesday. Cosby, who received a master’s and doctorate in education from the school, agreed.

“He no longer has any affiliation with the campaign nor does he serve in any other capacity for the university,” spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said in a statement.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley had earlier urged UMass in a letter to end its relationship with Cosby “at a time when the state is focused on prevention and response to sexual assaults on campus.”

Berklee College of Music in Boston also said Wednesday it ended Cosby’s affiliation with an online scholarship named in his honor. Cosby, who plays the drums and writes music, received an honorary degree from the school in 2004.

Other schools distancing themselves from Cosby include High Point University in North Carolina, which said it has temporarily removed his name from its advisory board. In addition, Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee said Wednesday that Cosby will no longer speak at its annual benefit dinner in December.

Several women in recent weeks have come forward to claim the comedian drugged and raped them or touched them inappropriately in past decades. Cosby has never been charged with a crime. His lawyer has called the allegations “ridiculous” and said it’s “completely illogical” that no one would have made reports to police.

IN-DEPTH

SOCIAL

Timeline: Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

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Saturday Aug. 9

11:48 a.m. to noon – An officer responds to a call of a sick person.

11:51 a.m. – Another call comes in about a robbery at a convenience store. The dispatcher gives a description of the robber and says the suspect is walking toward the Quick Trip convenience store.

12:01 p.m. – The officer encounters Michael Brown and a friend as they walk down a street. Brown is shot to death as a result of the encounter.

12:04 p.m. – A second officer arrives on the scene followed by a supervisor one minute later. An ambulance responding to the earlier sick person call drives by and responds to assess Brown.

 

A St. Louis County teenager is dead and a community outraged after a Ferguson police officer opened fire.

Sunday Aug. 10

10 a.m. – Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed, St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmarsays in a news conference. Belmar says Brown physically assaulted the officer, and during a struggle between the two, Brown reached for the officer’s gun. One shot was fired in the car followed by other gunshots outside of the car.

 

Chief Jon Belmar with the St. Louis County Police Department said a struggle over a Ferguson officer’s gun led to Michael Brown’s death.

Brown’s parents retain attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, as their counsel.

A candlelight vigil to honor Brown later turns violent. More than a dozen businesses are vandalized and looted. More than 30 people are arrested and two police officers suffered injuries, police said.

 

Monday Aug. 11

5 a.m. – The first day of school is canceled in Jennings, near Ferguson, for safety of students who could be walking.

7 a.m. – Ferguson police and city leaders say a number of death threats to the police force have been received in relation to the fatal shooting.

10 a.m. – Hundreds gather outside the Ferguson Police Department to demand justice for Brown’s death. Police arrest at least seven people.

11 a.m. – The FBI announces the agency will do a parallel investigation into the shooting of Brown.

2 p.m. – St. Louis County Police Department announces it will release the name of the officer who is accused of shooting Brown by noon Tuesday.

4 p.m. – The parents and attorney of Brown hold a press conference where they ask for a stop to violence and demand justice for their son.

 

6 p.m. – Community members and leaders meet and pray at a meeting hosted by the NAACP.

 

8 p.m. – Several gather again on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, and police use tear gas to disperse crowds that did not protest peacefully.

 

Tuesday Aug. 12

Early morning, police announce 15 arrests stemming from Ferguson events Monday evening. In addition, St. Louis County Police Chief says the name of the officer involved in the shooting will not be released due to threats on social media.

10 a.m. – Protesters gather at St. Louis County Police Department headquarters for a peaceful protest where a list of demands was given relating to the investigation of Brown’s death.

Noon – Rev. Al Sharpton arrives in St. Louis to speak to the family of Brown, and he made his way around the St. Louis area to demand justice in the fatal shooting.Sharpton and the family spoke on the Old Courthouse steps early Tuesday afternoon.

 

Tuesday afternoon, a preliminary autopsy report for Brown is released by St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office. The FAA announces air restrictions over Ferguson to allow for law enforcement helicopters.

3 p.m. – Officials charge nine people in relation to looting in Ferguson Sunday night into Monday morning.

4 p.m. – President Obama releases a statement regarding the Brown incident. The Justice Department announces it will take on reviewing police tactics across the country.

7 p.m. – Gov. Jay Nixon, City of St. Louis Mayor and other area leaders come together to speak on the Brown case. At a separate public meeting, Rev. Al Sharpton and the Brown family urge a peaceful fight toward justice for Michael Brown.

10 p.m. – Tensions rise between protesters and police for the third consecutive night.

KSDK-TV reporter Farrah Fazal speaks to Dorian Johnson, a man who’s come forward as an eyewitness to Brown’s shooting.

 

Dorian Johnson was walking with Michael Brown when the 18-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer in St. Louis County, Missouri. Johnson says Brown had his hands in the air, and was unarmed, when the cop shot him. VPC

Wednesday Aug. 13

After a third night of protests full of tension, the City of Ferguson asked protests and vigils for Michael Brown to be held during the daytime.

10 a.m. – A number of volunteers gather to help the city start to pick up the pieces after tense and violent episodes in prior days.

KSDK learns Wednesday afternoon that Brown’s remains had been turned over to the family.

3 p.m. – The Justice Department opens a federal civil rights investigation related to the Ferguson shooting. Ferguson police say at a news conference that the 911 tape from Saturday would be released soon.

4 p.m. – Brown had no criminal background, the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office discloses.

6 p.m. – Ferguson-Florissant School District postpones the first day of school until Aug. 18 due to safety concerns for its students. School was set to start Aug. 14.

Police detain two reportersone from the Huffington Post and another from theWashington Post — at a Ferguson McDonald’s.

9 p.m. – Police begin to throw tear gas at protesters in Ferguson in order to disperse crowds. During the commotion, police also force media to move back out of the area and throw tear gas at an Al Jazeera America crew.

 

10 p.m. – Gov. Jay Nixon announces via Twitter that he’s cancelling his visit to Missouri State Fair Thursday to visit Ferguson.

City of St. Louis Alderman Antonio French is arrested for unlawful assembly.

Thursday Aug. 14

6 a.m. – Police announce 16 people have been arrested and two officers injured during the fourth night of violence.

7 a.m. – City Alderman Antonio French is released from jail without formal charges and posting bond.

11 a.m. – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon makes his first stop of many through north St. Louis County and Ferguson.

 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says “operational shifts” are ahead for law enforcement in the St. Louis suburb where a police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager. The governor told the audience that “you all will see a different tone.” (Aug. 15) AP

11:40 a.m. – Obama addressed the nation on Ferguson and urges for calm. The president called on local police to be “open and transparent” about their investigation of Brown’s death.

3:30 p.m. – Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that the Missouri Highway Patrol willtake control of security in Ferguson and that the unit in the embattled town would be overseen by Capt. Ron Johnson, who was born and raised near the community.

6 p.m. – Across the country, silent vigils were held to remember and honor the memory of Michael Brown.

Evening, night – Citizens marched peacefully alongside state troopers and no violent clashes were reported for the first time this week.

 

Hundreds of protestors gathered and marched again in Ferguson, MO Thursday night. But this time it was primarily peaceful. The credit for the shift in atmosphere goes to the commander of the Missouri Highway Patrol who’s now overseeing security.

Friday Aug. 15

8:45 a.m. – Darren Wilson is named as the officer who shot Brown on Aug. 9. Wilson has been on the force for six years and has no disciplinary action against him, police chief Thomas Jackson says. The announcement comes three days after police originally said they would name the officer, citing a fear for the officer’s safety. The police chief also gave details about a strong-arm robbery at a local convenience store that took place moments before Wilson shot Brown. He did not connect Brown to the robbery during his news conference, but in police documents he released to reporters, Brown is named as a suspect. Jackson released dispatch records and video surveillance of the robbery as well.

11 a.m. – Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says at a security briefing that he hopes peaceful protests continue in Ferguson. “Don’t burn down our own house,” he says. “That does not prove a point. That does not solve issues.” Gov. Jay Nixon reassured people that the investigation’s focus remains on finding out how and why Brown was killed.

Noon – An attorney for Dorian Johnson, who is an eyewitness interviewed by law enforcement, says that Dorian Johnson and Brown took part in the convenience store robbery prior to the shooting.

12:30 p.m. – The family of Michael Brown releases a statement saying they are “beyond outraged” by how the information was released in a way to “assassinate the character of their son,” tying him to the robbery.

3 p.m. – Chief Thomas Jackson says Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, did not know Brown was a suspect in a strong-arm robbery that happened moments before the shooting. Wilson stopped Brown for walking in the middle of the street.

Friday evening – Rev. Jesse Jackson links arms with protesters in Ferguson. He led the group in prayer and urged them to “turn pain into power” while fighting back non-violently.

Friday night into Saturday morning – Police and nearly 200 protesters clash as rocks are thrown at officers and armored trucks returned to the streets. Tear gas is used to disperse rowdy crowds.

 

Saturday Aug. 16

Looting from Friday night forces one area beauty supply to shut its doors on Saturday.

 

Looting and vandalism in Ferguson comes at a high price for business owners and their employees. One Ferguson beauty supply store is now cleaning up, boarding up and preparing to close, at least temporarily.

3 p.m. – Gov. Nixon issues a state of emergency for the Ferguson area and will impose a curfew until further notice. “If we are going to achieve justice, we must first have and maintain peace,” Nixon said. “This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching.”

Sunday Aug. 17

Early morning – Seven people were arrested and one person shot as police and protesters clashed again in a haze of tear gas despite a curfew that took effect at midnight.

Afternoon – Citing the “extraordinary” nature of the case, Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a separate federal autopsy for Brown at the request of his family. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s autopsy concluded that Brown died of gunshot wounds, but other details have not been released.

Evening – Protests continued as police imposed a curfew for the second night. Police lobbed tear gas at protesters after reporting that members of the crowd hurled Molotov cocktails at officers. “This is no longer a peaceful protest. You must leave the area,” a police announcer told the crowd.

 

Late night – A private autopsy requested by Brown’s family found that he was shot at least six times, including four times in the right arm and twice in the head, The New York Times reported. All of the shots, the Times reported, were fired from Brown’s front — a finding that could contradict a witness statement indicating that Brown was hit as he ran away from police.

Monday Aug. 18

2 a.m. – Gov. Nixon orders the National Guard into Ferguson after protesters shot at police, threw Molotov cocktails at officers, looted local businesses and carried out a “coordinated attempt” to block roads and overrun the police’s command center, Nixon’s office said in a statement.

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon early Monday ordered the National Guard into Ferguson hours after police said escalating violence led to shootings, arrests and “pre-planned” acts of aggression by protesters.

9:45 a.m. – Michael Baden, the Brown family’s hired pathologist who performed aprivate autopsy on Brown’s body said his results could be consistent with the police’s or witnesses’ account of how Brown died. “From a scientific point of view, we can’t determine which witness is most consistent,” Baden said at a news conference.

1 p.m. – Gov. Nixon lifts the curfew in Ferguson after it failed to thwart violence the past two nights. The National Guard will have “limited responsibilities,” Nixon said, to help keep order during late-night protests along with the State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement.

 

3:30 p.m. – President Obama announces he is dispatching Attorney General Eric Holder to monitor the unrest in Ferguson. Obama called on people to address “the gulf” that exists between minorities and law enforcement, but must do so with respect for all sides.

Afternoon – Getty Images photographer Scott Olson is arrested Monday while reporting in Ferguson. He was later released. “I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job,” Olson told Pancho Bernasconi, vice president of news at Getty Images.

Trayvon Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, wrote a heartbreaking letter published in TIMEmagazine to the family of Michael Brown. The letter, published Monday, says she wishes she could say “it will be alright” but the truth is she can only “pray” as their ‘lives are forever changed.”

 

9 p.m. – Ferguson-Florissant School District cancels school for the rest of the week amid safety concerns for students. The district’s first day was set for Aug. 14 but continued unrest led to a postponement.

Tuesday Aug. 19

Early morning – Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says that 31 people were arrested overnight, four police officers were injured by thrown rocks and bottles, at least two people were shot, and two fires were set during a night of clashes between police and protesters.

7 a.m. – Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, says on the Today Show thattheir focus remains on getting justice for her son. “When justice is prevailed, then maybe they’ll regain their trust in the locals.”

1 p.m. – A 23-year-old man was fatally shot by a police officer in north St. Louis, just a few miles from Ferguson. Authorities said he had threatened officers with a knife after imploring them to kill him. The incident did not appear to be related to Ferguson unrest, although a crowd that gathered around the scene appeared to have questions, prompting two aldermen at the scene to urge calm. No officers were injured, authorities said.

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DO THE RIGHT THING WAY – SPIKE LEE MAKES HISTORY

 

Spike Lee was given his own street by the City of New York. “Do The Right Thing Way” will replace Stuyvesant Street (Lexington and Quincy). Okay Brooklyn

 

 

The iconic “Do the Right Thing” (1989) by Spike Lee, was filmed entirely on this street – Stuyvesant between Lexington and Quincy – here in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn. Here, Mookie (Spike Lee) the delivery man for the pizza place owned by Sal Frangione (Danny Aiello), reveals a story of racial tensions rise in the midst of a heatwave. The neighborhood becomes violent when two local African American men are apprehended by police and one, Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), is killed. “Do the Right Thing” is one of the most controversial and greatest films of its time as it looks deep into race relations in the urban setting.

 

 

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of ‘Mookie’ in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny AielloOssie DavisRuby DeeRichard EdsonGiancarlo EspositoBill NunnJohn Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson. It is also notably the feature film debuts of Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. The movie tells the story of a neighborhood’s simmering racial tension, which comes to a head and culminates in tragedy on the hottest day of the summer.

The film was a commercial success and received numerous accolades and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Lee for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Supporting Actor for Aiello’s portrayal of Sal the pizzeria owner. It is often listed among the greatest films of all time.[3][4][5][6] In 1999, it was deemed to be “culturally significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, one of just five films to have this honor in their first year of eligibility.

Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86

ang0-003 maya-angelou images

Maya Angelou, the memoirist and poet whose landmark book of 1969, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” — which describes in lyrical, unsparing prose her childhood in the Jim Crow South — was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died on Wednesday in her home. She was 86 and lived in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Her death was confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. No immediate cause of death had been determined, but Ms. Brann said Ms. Angelou had been in frail health for some time and had had heart problems.

As well known as she was for her memoirs, which eventually filled six volumes, Ms. Angelou very likely received her widest exposure on a chilly January day in 1993, when she delivered the inaugural poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the swearing-in of Bill Clinton, the nation’s 42nd president, who, like Ms. Angelou, had grown up poor in rural Arkansas.

It began:

A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,

Marked the mastodon,

The dinosaur, who left dried tokens

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their hastening doom

Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,

Come, you may stand upon my

Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow,

I will give you no hiding place down here.

Long before that day, as she recounted in “Caged Bird” and its five sequels, she had already been a dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor, single mother, magazine editor in Cairo, administrative assistant in Ghana, official of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and friend or associate of some of the most eminent black Americans of the mid-20th century, including James Baldwin, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Afterward (her six-volume memoir takes her only to the age of 40), Ms. Angelou (pronounced AHN-zhe-lo) was a Tony-nominated stage actress; college professor (she was for many years the Reynolds professor of American studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem); ubiquitous presence on the lecture circuit; frequent guest on television shows, from “Oprah” to “Sesame Street”; and subject of a string of scholarly studies.

In February 2011, President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Throughout her writing, Ms. Angelou explored the concepts of personal identity and resilience through the multifaceted lens of race, sex, family, community and the collective past. As a whole, her work offered a cleareyed examination of the ways in which the socially marginalizing forces of racism and sexism played out at the level of the individual.

“If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat,” Ms. Angelou wrote in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Hallmarks of Ms. Angelou’s prose style included a directness of voice that recalls African-American oral tradition and gives her work the quality of testimony. She was also intimately concerned with sensation, describing the world around her — be it Arkansas, San Francisco or the foreign cities in which she lived — with palpable feeling for its sights, sounds and smells.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” published when Ms. Angelou was in her early 40s, spans only her first 17 years. But what powerfully formative years they were.

Marguerite Ann Johnson was born in St. Louis on April 4, 1928. (For years after Dr. King’s assassination, on April 4, 1968, Ms. Angelou did not celebrate her birthday.) Her dashing, defeated father, Bailey Johnson Sr., a Navy dietitian, “was a lonely person, searching relentlessly in bottles, under women’s skirts, in church work and lofty job titles for his ‘personal niche,’ lost before birth and unrecovered since,” Ms. Angelou wrote. “How maddening it was to have been born in a cotton field with aspirations of grandeur.”

Her beautiful, volatile mother, Vivian Baxter, was variously a nurse, hotel owner and card dealer. As a girl, Ms. Angelou was known as Rita, Ritie or Maya, her older brother’s childhood nickname for her.

After her parents’ marriage ended, 3-year-old Maya was sent with her 4-year-old brother, Bailey, to live with their father’s mother in the tiny town of Stamps, Ark., which, she later wrote, “with its dust and hate and narrowness was as South as it was possible to get.”

Their grandmother, Annie Henderson, owned a general store “in the heart of the Negro area,” Ms. Angelou wrote. An upright woman known as Momma, “with her solid air packed around her like cotton,” she is a warm, stabilizing presence throughout “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

The children returned periodically to St. Louis to live with their mother. On one such occasion, when Maya was 7 or 8 (her age varies slightly across her memoirs, which employ the techniques of fiction to recount actual events), she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.

She told her brother, who alerted the family, and the man was tried and convicted. Before he could begin serving his sentence, he was murdered — probably, Ms. Angelou wrote, by her uncles.

Believing that her words had brought about the death, Maya did not speak for the next five years. Her love of literature, as she later wrote, helped restore language to her.

As a teenager, now living with her mother in San Francisco, she studied dance and drama at the California Labor School and became the first black woman to work as a streetcar conductor there. At 16, after a casual liaison with a neighborhood youth, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. There the first book ends.

Reviewing “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in The New York Times,Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called it “a carefully wrought, simultaneously touching and comic memoir.”

The book — its title is a line from “Sympathy,” by the African-American poetPaul Laurence Dunbar — became a best seller, confounding the pervasive stereotype that black women’s lives were unworthy of memoir.

The next five volumes of Ms. Angelou’s memoir, all, like the first, originally published by Random House, were “Gather Together in My Name” (1974), “Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas” (1976), “The Heart of a Woman” (1981), “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes” (1986) and “A Song Flung Up to Heaven” (2002).

Together they describe her struggles to support her son through a series of odd jobs. “Determined to raise him, I had worked as a shake dancer in nightclubs, fry cook in hamburger joints, dinner cook in a Creole restaurant and once had a job in a mechanic’s shop, taking paint off cars with my hands,” she wrote in “Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas.” Elsewhere, she describes her brief unsuccessful stint as a prostitute and brief successful one as a madam.

Ms. Angelou goes on to recount her marriage to a Greek sailor, Tosh Angelos. (Throughout her life, she was circumspect about the number of times she was married — it appears to have been at least three — for fear, she said, of appearing frivolous.)

After the marriage dissolved, she embarked on a career as a calypso dancer and singer under the name Maya Angelou, a variant of her married name. A striking stage presence — she was six feet tall — she occasionally partnered in San Francisco with Alvin Ailey in a nightclub dance act known as Al and Rita.

She was cast in the Truman Capote-Harold Arlen musical “House of Flowers,” which opened on Broadway in 1954. But she chose instead to tour the world as a featured dancer in a production of “Porgy and Bess” by the Everyman Opera Company, a black ensemble.

Ms. Angelou later settled in New York, where she became active in the Harlem Writers Guild (she hoped to be a poet and playwright), sang at the Apollo and eventually succeeded Bayard Rustin as the coordinator of the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that he, Dr. King and others had founded.

In the early 1960s, Ms. Angelou became romantically involved with Vusumzi L. Make, a South African civil rights activist. She moved with him to Cairo, where she became the associate editor of a magazine, The Arab Observer. After leaving Mr. Make — she found him paternalistic and controlling, she later wrote — she moved to Accra, Ghana, where she was an administrative assistant at the University of Ghana.

On returning to New York, Ms. Angelou helped Malcolm X set up the Organization of Afro-American Unity, established in 1964. The group dissolved after his assassination the next year.

In 1973, Ms. Angelou appeared on Broadway in “Look Away,” a two-character play about Mary Todd Lincoln (played by Geraldine Page) and her seamstress. Though the play closed after one performance, Ms. Angelou was nominated for a Tony Award. On the screen, she portrayed Kunta Kinte’s grandmother in the 1977 television mini-series “Roots” and appeared in several feature films, including “How to Make an American Quilt” (1995).

Ms. Angelou’s marriage in the 1970s to Paul du Feu, who had previously been wed to the feminist writer Germaine Greer, ended in divorce.

Over time, some critics expressed reservations about Ms. Angelou’s prose, calling it facile and solipsistic. Her importance as a literary, cultural and historical figure was amply borne out, however, by the many laurels she received, including a slew of honorary doctorates.

Her other books include the volumes of poetry “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie” (1971), “Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well” (1975); “And Still I Rise” (1978) and “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?” (1983).

She released an album of songs, “Miss Calypso,” in 1957.

But she remained best known for her memoirs, a striking fact in that she had never set out to be a memoirist. Near the end of “A Song Flung Up to Heaven,” Ms. Angelou recalls her response when Robert Loomis, who would become her longtime editor at Random House, first asked her to write an autobiography.

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She demurred at first, still planning to be a playwright and poet. Cannily, Mr. Loomis called her again.

“You may be right not to attempt autobiography, because it is nearly impossible to write autobiography as literature,” he said. “Almost impossible.”

“I’ll start tomorrow,” Ms. Angelou replied.

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