For centuries, poetry has remained an effective method of expressing ones’ emotions and aesthetics without excessive criticism. Some distinguished individuals participated in this literary exercise and despite their motives, they acquired the profound ability to empathize with their audiences’ ambitions, fears, and misfortunes. During the lamentable times of racial and economic turmoil, a brilliant woman named Toni Morrison was introduced into this world and would later be a remarkable influence on literature. Proactively, she channeled her frustrations and fears of racial prejudice into her literary works, earning an admirable reputation for her bravery of discussing sensitive topics regarding racial prejudice and injustices. Likewise,
The life experiences of the late Maya Angelou —author, poet, actress, singer, dancer, playwright, director, producer — became the key element of her most prominent work, a lyrical poet telling the stories of what it means to be an African American; having a wide range, multi-series autobiographies that lays the foundation of her identity as a American black woman. The acclaimed Maya Angelou’s legacy not only impacted American culture that will resonate with people through history, but create insight to a whole new world.
Toni Morrison is a black African-American novelist of the twentieth century. She is the first African-American winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She describes a brief history of the African-Americans of the early times of the nineteenth century and shows us the darker aspects of humanity, the troublesome circumstances within which the slaves had been forced to live, and the destruction that was delivered to their lives by the Whites. Toni Morrison has tried to represent the past of slavery, which degraded African-Americans from individuals to that of the creature to be exchanged and traded like dairy cattle for which the slave master needed not to take permission from anybody, not even from the slave’s mother. Masters had fully
Maya Angelou’s use of symbolism in the book is used to describe her displacement in society and how difficult it is to find self-identity, revealing the form of being a “Caged bird.” Maya is a caged bird because she is aware of the displacement of blacks in America and the entitlement and freedom of whites. “if growing up is as painful for the southern girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat” (Angelou 4). Angelou is aware because of the color of her skin, she is living in a society that does not want her or anyone who looks like her. With her awareness Angelou, “...escapes stasis to become a subject in the perpetual process of forming and emerging. It is a dynamic subjectivity that emerges out
Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes are both African American poets that have made tremendously positive names for themselves in the literature department. Their significant signature in the poetic community has been made by their passion and commitment to produce poetry that speaks to the emotions the public faces on a daily basis. Maya Angelou was brought into this world on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas (Maya Angelou Biography 1). Sadly, Ms. Angelou left the earth on May 28, 2014 (Maya Angelou Biography 1), but still made sure that her works would be adequate enough for the public to enjoy her works past her time. She was not just a poet, as she wrote books, memoirs, taught, produced, acted, made films, and was an activist in the civil rights movement. (19 1). Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri (Langston Hughes 1). Langston was able to make himself known in the public eye during the Harlem Renaissance.
“You have tried to destroy me and although I perish daily I shall not be moved,” (Angelou, 2014), says Maya Angelou in her Commencement speech to the 1992 Spelman College graduates. Poet and award-winning author, Maya Angelou, is most well known for her poetry, essay collection, and memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou happened to be the first black female cable car conductor who later started a career in theatre and music (Maya Angelou: Poet and Historian, n.d.). Once her acting and musical career began to take off, Angelou began touring with productions and released her first album Miss Calypso (Maya Angelou Fast Facts, 2017). Later, Angelou earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in the play Look Away and an Emmy Award nomination for the work she performed in the television mini-series Roots (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Angelou was also the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Out of the number of poetry collections Angelou published, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die happened to be her most famous collection that was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). The focus of this paper is to critique Angelou’s credibility, sincerity, and appeal to her whole audience in her delivery during the Spelman Commencement Address in 1992.
The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a period of blooming writing and human expressions. Scholars of African-American writing have been perceived by the most astounding honors, including the Nobel Prize to Toni Morrison. Among the topics and issues investigated in this writing are the part of African Americans inside the bigger American culture, African-American society, bigotry, bondage, and social balance. African-American composing has had a tendency to join oral structures, for example, spirituals, sermons, gospel music, soul, or rap.
Maya Angelou and Henry Louis Gates had a similar childhood. Both faced numerous challenges during the early stages of their lives such as racial discrimination and financial insecurity among others. The similarity of their childhood experiences results to a coincidence in their nature and type of writing. The authors address same issues using their life experiences. However, Maya and Louis differ on some issues and experiences as well as their writing styles. However, although they vary in a variety of ways, Maya and Gates address similar topics.
Perhaps the reason that Maya’s poetry has had such a lasting impact on Americans is because of her poems such as ‘Caged Birds’ and ‘Still I Rise’ that demonstrate the issues that African – Americans faced, which she has done through the power of her words. She also challenges the readers with the theme of oppression that is carried out through her pomes as she felt very strongly about it by being surrounded by it her entire life. Maya Angelou has left an everlasting mark by influencing the society through her poems by inspiring others to persist towards their goals and dreams with strength and pride. Overall, Maya Angelou’s work can be attributed to the fact that her personal and cultural experiences of power have not been forgotten by overcoming adversity and oppression, which is clearly reflected in her inspiration body of work seen
In the two novels, The Bean Trees and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, authors Barbara Kingsolver and Maya Angelou use both of their stories to challenge the stereotypes that society has put in place about the idea of femininity and the gender roles of men and women. In The Bean Trees, protagonist Taylor Greer unexpectedly becomes a mother when she cares for a Native American child given to her on the side of a road, however, she does not behave like society’s version of a maternal figure in that she takes on roles that would be likely belong to a man. On the other hand, in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou writes an autobiography and she portrays her own older brother, Bailey, as a more feminine character, although he is expected to have manly qualities as an African American male. Because of the high standards and stereotypes that our society has
The Harlem Renaissance was a time of “Rebirth” of the African heritage. In a quest for racial identity and equality. This made way for various African American musicians, artists and writers to emerge. A few of those became central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. One of those central figures was Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston was a writer, folklorist and anthropologist. Hurston made use of African American dialect to create some of the strongest female characters in the earliest twentieth century fiction. Langston Hughes was another central figure. He was a musician, journalist and a novelist. He became a rare poets that included powerful phrases. Gwendolyn Brooks was a central figure. Brooks was a writer. She was the first African-American
Through an examination of the female experience, Maya Angelou's Still I Rise (1978) and Anne Sexton's Her Kind (1960) utilise the authors' individual styles to inspire and shape our understanding of oppression and empowerment. In the difference in presentation of their common themes, the implications of different styles are shaped. Though there are similarities between the poets, it is the way they choose to utilise literary devices that creates a text that resonates with the audience in different ways.
Just about every moving being has a family, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, parrots, but, human families are very special. We have blood family, friends who are our family, school families, even are whole country can be considered a family. Barack Obama and Maya Angelou both wrote and gave speeches that explain we, as humans are all a family. Three points that were very similar in the two speeches were, how humans are different, how humans are the same, and finally how our similarities and differences bring us together as a family.
It is impossible to discuss the role of women in literature without mentioning the influence of feminism. The later in the timeline one reads, the more prominent it becomes. Each new wave of feminism brings with it its own goals, yet it also continues to strive for some of the same goals as past generations because not everything is accomplished all at once. Although “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall and “Rubyfruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown, are two starkly different texts that strongly reflect the feminist eras in which they were written, they have some similarities as well.
Alice Walker and Maya Angelou are two contemporary African-American writers. Although almost a generation apart in age, both women display a remarkable similarity in their lives. Each has written about her experiences growing up in the rural South, Ms. Walker through her essays and Ms. Angelou in her autobiographies. Though they share similar backgrounds, each has a unique style which gives to us, the readers, the gift of their exquisite humanity, with all of its frailties and strengths, joys and sorrows.