Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St Louis, Missouri, she was rendered mute for seven years after being sexually assaulted as a child by her mother's boyfriend, devoting herself to reading and falling in love with literature after it gave her the courage to rediscover her voice and overcome the trauma.
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.