Maya Angelou's African American Dream

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Maya Angelou and her African American Dream Maya Angelou is one of the most distinguished African American writers of the twentieth century. Writing is not her only forte she is a poet, director, composer, lyricist, dancer, singer, journalist, teacher, and lecturer (Angelou and Tate, 3). Angelou’s American Dream is articulated throughout her five part autobiographical novels; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in my Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes. Maya Angelou’s American Dream changed throughout her life: in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya’s American dream was to fit into a predominantly white society in small town…show more content…
Louis. The man who assaulted her was her mother boyfriend, who was later found dead. He was “kicked to death” the same night of the incident (Bloom 3). The incident concluded with five years of silence for Maya (Eller, 2). Maya’s rape incident was compared to the suffering of the African American community in the South during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Edward Eller, an assistant professor of English at Northeast Louisiana University writes that; “Just as the child had to give in to her rapist because she has no choice but to endure and survive, the blacks had no choice” (Eller, 2). The fight for Maya to fulfill her American Dream of finding a home, and being accepted into American society goes hand in hand with the fight for civil rights for the African American society. Eller states that Angelou’s voice through her literature showed African Americans that they could overcome racism and segregation; “Because Angelou shows us we can do more than endure. We can Triumph” (Eller, 2). Young Angelou along with the blacks in the South were looking for a place to call home, together they searched for a place where they belonged, were they fit in. In the last chapters of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; Angelou is maturing, and her life completely changes when she graduates from high school, and becomes the first woman streetcar conductor in San Francisco. During the summer of 1945 at age 16, Angelou gave birth to her son, only one
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