Maya Angelou Essay

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Maya Angelou is an American author who is known for her poetry and novels that lyrically illustrate the experiences of African Americans and also acts as a spokesperson for black pride and heritage (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture). Although she speaks for people of color, her messages of hope and strength appeal to people of all ages and races. Angelou is best known for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which she recalls herself as a young African American girl finding self-confidence in a highly prejudice world. Maya Angelou’s work should still be taught in schools today because of her focus on civil rights and feminism, which continues to be a pressing issue in today’s society.

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The first biography in her series and the book she is most known for, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings(Italicize), gives insight into how young African Americans saw the world ("Themes and Construction: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."). She talks about the many women who had contributed to her success in life, including her mother, grandmother, and high-school teacher ("Themes and Construction: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."). She explains their similar struggles through childhood and how that taught her to push through what she was going through. She portrays the male support as negative with no help from them towards her success. The novel is a feminist manifesto that tells the story of a shy, awkward, segregated black girl who blossoms into a confident, headstrong woman ("Themes and Construction: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."). This theme is showed within in the novel as Angelou writes "The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance," (Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.). Although it is an

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