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Although her grandmother helped her develop pride and self-confidence, Angelou was devastated when she was raped at the age of eight by her mother's boyfriend while on a visit to St. After she testified against the man, several of her uncles beat him to death.
The trust was to be administered by her only child, Guy Bailey Johnson, but many of the beneficiaries were said to be stunned to receive anything at all.
Her early decades are littered with painful rejections and soul-searing setbacks, but “And Still I Rise” perceptively describes Angelou’s persistence and boundless curiosity.
There are so many excellent tales in “And Still I Rise”: It would be wrong to give away the surprising endings of stories involving Pearl Bailey, B. King and a famous rapper that Angelou once met on a movie set.
And yet it’s difficult not to have sympathy for anyone trying to capture Angelou’s life and inspirations in a two-hour film; given her boundless energies and wide-ranging path, it comes close to being an impossible task.
“And Still I Rise” quickly but concisely covers her years in Stamps, Ark., her early relationships and traumas, and the connections she made as a member of the touring company of “Porgy and Bess.” Long before she began writing books in earnest, Angelou was a singer, dancer and activist who became an important figure in the Civil Rights movement.
Tedao Schnugg, another beneficiary and founder of Harlem’s Firehouse Theater, said, "In the last couple of years, she would talk about her will but just say that everything was taken care of. We’re dealing with losing our best friend.” At the time of her death, Angelou's net worth was estimated to be valued between $10 million and $34 million.