The Theme of Racism in Maya Angelou’s Novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

842 Words Feb 17th, 2018 3 Pages
Angelou on the second page states, “Wouldn’t they be surprised when one day I woke out of my black ugly dream, and my real hair, which was long and blond, would take the place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten? My light-blue eyes were going to hypnotize them, after all the things they said about “my daddy must have been a Chinaman”…” (Angelou 2). Angelou says this as a child wishing to not be who she is because of how other children mock her and she does not think she is pretty enough. At the early age of three years old, Angelou begins to realize that there is a major difference in the Southern black community. “In cotton-picking time the late afternoons revealed the harshness of Black Southern life, which in the early morning had been softened by nature’s blessing of grogginess, forgetfulness and the soft lamplight.” (Angelou 9). As a child growing up in the Deep South like she did, Angelou was affected by segregation and racism not just on herself, but by seeing it happen to the others around her also. “The used-to-be sheriff sat rakishly astraddle his horse….His twang jogged in the brittle air. From the side of the Store, Bailey and I heard him say to Momma,” Annie, tell Willie he better lay low tonight. A crazy nigger messed with a white lady today. Some of the boys’ll be coming over here later.”… We were told…
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