Summary Of Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Good Essays

The century between President Lincoln’s issue of the Emancipation Proclamation and the heat of the Civil Rights movement lays claim to three distinct generations: active participants in slavery, their children, and grandchildren. Naturally as times change, parents and children drift apart with the times, seen today in the immense rifts between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, as it has been for centuries. In fact, progress in general depends on new minds and ideas separating from their ancestors’ “old-fashioned” ways of living and thinking. Maya Angelou expertly depicted this diversity of progressive thought in her first autobiography, which focused primarily on her childhood. The three generations Angelou portrays in I Know Why the Caged …show more content…

Continuing to do so throughout the rest of his speech, Washington’s view of the necessity that black people buckle down and accept their surroundings never faltered. He told a brief story of two ships which ultimately boiled down to saying that African-Americans were trying to climb too high, too fast. That they immediately sought too prestigious of positions in society and overlooked what best suited them. He suggested that they instead help maintain the status quo by limiting the positions of power that African-Americans could hold. Pushing them more towards physical labor did nothing but reflect the divide between communities of white and black. Though it is unclear as to when exactly Momma was born, considering a lack of available information and singlehandedly running her own business, Momma nonetheless is easily considered of the same mind as Washington and his supporters. Extremely strict with her grandchildren, conduct, and religion, Momma knew and kept her place in Stamps, where she found solace in her community and faith. Angelou introduces her readers to the annual revivals of Stamps, a very prominent aspect of American southern life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and a vital part of community sentiment for Stamps. Just prior to the revival scene, Angelou shares another memory at the store after a long day of

Get Access
Get Access