What is i know why the caged bird sings about
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouSent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local powhitetrash. At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
The first and best-known of Maya Angelou 's extraordinary seven volumes of autobiography is a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover. The distance, which is everything, is as true as a plumb line. She is outside and inside at the same time, looking at all of it with double vision. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.
The book chronicles her life from age 3 through age 16, recounting an unsettled and sometimes traumatic childhood that included rape and racism. It became one of the most widely read and taught books written by an African American woman. The prologue describes an event in which Angelou, as a small child, is reciting a poem in church. Feeling ugly because she imagined in vain that the dress her grandmother made her would be so pretty that she would be seen as a beautiful white child, she forgets the poem and then wets her pants as she flees the church in embarrassment. Momma owns the only store in the African American part of town.
Piqued by a dare, Angelou approached her first book as an exercise in autobiography as art, a literary achievement which, according to Random House editor Robert Loomis, is virtually impossible. Determined to transcend facts with truth, she concentrates on the Maya character's rationale and thought processes that presaged her adult character, both as woman and survivor. Disclosing her version of the black female's victimization by prejudice and powerlessness, as though creating a fictional character, she champions Maya's ability to compensate for displacement, disparagement, lack of stability, and savagely truncated self-worth. Through a tournament list of crises, young Maya moves from near-orphanhood to a rebirth of self, complete with a generous perception of worth and dignity. The circuitous pilgrimage in search of unconditional belonging ends with motherhood, ironically the failed source which precipitated Maya's soulful odyssey. Nominated for a National Book Award in and labeled by reviewer Wanda Coleman as Angelou's "magnum opus," I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a modern classic among young adult and adult readers, has earned varied kudos. One of the most outspoken comes from the late James Baldwin, Angelou's friend and mentor: "This testimony from a black sister marks the beginning of an era in the minds and hearts and lives of all black men and women.
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When it came out in , it was one of the first books to honestly depict the experiences of a black woman growing up in the south. Much of Caged Bird centers on trauma Angelou experienced as a child. She testified at his trial, but though he was convicted, he only served one day in jail. By age 40, Angelou had had many careers, working as a journalist, poet, civil rights activist, and singer. She was also a member of the Harlem Writers Guild, where she became friends with author James Baldwin.