Talk:Maya Angelou

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Featured article Maya Angelou is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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African American?[edit]

I see other poets listed by their nationality, not their nationality plus race. Can we call her an "American" in the lead?

Done. Rothorpe (talk) 02:22, 29 May 2014 (UTC)


Race and Culture in regard to Black is one and the same in the United States of America. You cannot disassociate the two in this regard.shiznaw (talk) 00:05, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

While I understand race/ethnicity is significant, Maya Angelou's race is not her nationality. Nationality is the descriptor used in the lead on Wikipedia. Notice that Billie Holiday is listed as an American Jazz singer, Michelle Obama as an American lawyer etc. Also, Angelou's ethnicity, African American, is listed in the info box and also referred to throughout the article, so it seems well covered. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:08, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
The answer can be found at WP:BLPLEAD. Ethnicity and nationality should be placed in the first paragraph if they are important to the life and career of the subject. In Angelou's case, they are critically important. A side benefit is that Angelou's ethnicity also names her nationality: African American. Binksternet (talk) 15:15, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
I think it could be argued that race is significant to the life and career of most if not all African-Americans (actually race seems pretty significant to the life of all Americans period, whether it be via heritage, culture, white privilege etc). I think this is a dangerous precedent and it also doesn't appear to be how it is done on Wikipedia (with the exception of biographies of former american slaves, who were not technically considered full American citizens under the laws at the time) People from all over the world read Wikipedia, and Maya Angelou, Billie Holiday Michelle Obama etc are/were Americans in terms of their nationality. The precedent on WP is to use nationality as the descriptor in the lead--BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
You're saying we should ignore the guideline and do something different, because other articles do it? Binksternet (talk) 16:40, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
No. What I'm saying is Angelou's ethnicity should not replace her nationality, or come before her nationality in the lead. If the content of the article stresses her ethnicity to the point that it should be emphasized in the lead and should be included under WP:BLPLEAD, it should be done in later sentences of the lead, similar to how it is done in the Oprah Winfrey article. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 16:59, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
I want to be clear that what I'm after is the honoring of Angelou's legacy, the acknowledgement of her critical importance to African American literature. I'm not trying to pigeonhole her. Binksternet (talk) 18:19, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
It looks like there are some problems with the guideline, but solving them isn't what we're here for. You might be surprised to hear that I don't care one way or the other, as long as Angelou's legacy as an African American writer is preserved, which it is in this article. The rest of the lead does a fine job at describing her importance as an African American writer and poet, so I'm fine with leaving the most recent edit as is. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 19:31, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Plagiarism[edit]

You may wish to add a section dealing with Maya Angelou's plagiarism issues, particularly regarding the recent controversy of the US postage stamp issued in 2015.

Mentioning Johnson's plagiarism issues is rayciss, because she uses a tribal collective method of passing on words. The fact she used a used a black man's words mean she cleansed the words of genderism and made them goodly.

Autobiography[edit]

The autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (which I just read), only goes up to the birth of her son, and does not include anything about her life after that. Note 23 (Cliff Notes) is incorrect. Further autobiographical information is probably in another one of her books (which I am looking forward to reading.) rsmtime — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rsmtime (talkcontribs) 15:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

User:Rsmtime, thanks for bringing this to our attention. With all the increased traffic to this article since Dr. Angelou's death (6 1/2 million views the week following), it's been a challenge to keep up with all the edits and ensure that they're accurate and correctly sourced. You're right; the paragraph was incorrect, and additionally, Cliffs Notes is not a reliable source. Therefore, I removed it. Again, thanks. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 16:26, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Description of Dr Angelou's occupation as 'actress'[edit]

This article is very informative and covers Dr Angelou well, however I would like to add that she would have considered herself an 'actor' and not an 'actress' I believe I heard her say something to the effect in the 80's that you are the thing and not the gender of the thing. R Sang UK (talk) 00:25, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 May 2015[edit]

216.48.142.20 (talk) 14:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 14:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 May 2015[edit]

Please change "prostitute" from the article to "performer" or remove entirely. 72.229.210.95 (talk) 21:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Please explain the reason for your request. Yes, the word is in the lead, but it isn't in the infobox. Like Angelou, this article is very clear that she resorted to the profession of prostitution for a very short time, to support herself and her young child, like so many other women must unfortunately do. She never shirked from such facts about herself, and neither should we here. If your problem with its inclusion is that it's disrespectful, I disagree, since she was always clear and honest about that part of her past. Actually, I believe that it would be disrespectful to not include, and not something she would've wanted. It also demonstrates that one can come back from something like that, and be hugely successful, which honors her memory as the role model she was. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 03:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
X mark.svg Not done fully concur with Christine (Figureskatingfan) and Wikipedia is not censored - Arjayay (talk) 07:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Georgia, Georgia[edit]

Angelou's Georgia, Georgia, produced by a Swedish film company and filmed in Sweden, the first screenplay written by a black woman,[54] was released in 1972.

This seems like an unprovable claim. Perhaps the first one that was made into a movie? 178.39.137.239 (talk) 09:31, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, it is supported by a source. I think that it's self-evident that the film was produced. And please make sure that you start a new section when you start a new topic, as I have done for you. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 16:00, 15 June 2015 (UTC)