Test Your Maya Angelou Knowledge With This Quiz


642px Maya Angelou in Baltimore 6dde8

When Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014 at age 86, the world lost a poet, professor, performer, and polymath who brought a sense of dignity and possibility to everything she touched. Think you “know why the caged bird sings?” Then take the quiz!


1. Born in St. Louis, MO, on April 4, 1928, Maya’s birth name was _______.

  1. Anna Mae Bullock
  2. Diana Ernestine Earle
  3. Marguerite Ann Johnson
  4. Jamesetta Peaches Hawkins

2. When Maya was seven, her mother’s boyfriend raped her, and when she told relatives about it, he was subsequently murdered. In the aftermath of the violence, Maya stopped speaking for ___ years.

  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 4
  4. 5

3. As a teenager, Maya became the first female African-American streetcar conductor in what city?

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York
  3. New Orleans
  4. Seattle

4. A prolific writer, Maya was best known for her series of seven autobiographies, beginning with 1969’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and ending with 2013’s _______.

  1. Gather Together in My Name
  2. Mom & Me & Mom
  3. The Heart of a Woman
  4. A Song Flung Up to Heaven

5. Complete the following Maya quote: “I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine before she realizes she’s ______.”

  1. reading
  2. thinking
  3. learning 
  4. changing

By Emily Rems
Top photo via Wikimedia Commons
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2014 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

Free Download:  Great Dames!

Get inspired by some of our favorite interviews, featuring Dolly Parton, Solange, Tina Fey, Jessica Williams, Kathleen Hanna, Laverne Cox, the Broad City gals, and more! Plus, keep up with the latest from BUST.

Answer Key: 1.c, 2.d, 3.a., 4.b, 5.a

More from BUST

How Well Do You Know Toni Morrison? Take This Quiz To Find Out!


How Much Do You Know About Simone De Beauvoir? Take The Quiz

How Well Do You Know Zora Neale Hurston? BUST Quiz



Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.


If our bold, uncensored reporting on women's issues is important to you, please consider making a donation.

donate button