Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sing

Vee L. Harrison on 2019-05-03 14:49:53



In 1969, African-American poet and author Maya Angelou (1928-2014) released an autobiography vividly illustrating the early years of her life. It was the first of a series of her stories, sharing her life growing up as a young African-American girl that survived traumatic experiences and racist accounts that shaped and molded the story, and her life. It is a classic piece of American literature that has survived the time, and the author's timeless voice.

In the book, Maya became a mother at the young age of 16 years old and survives rape and ugly racism. She was the epitome of strength and her coming-of-age story grew from a little girl to a fearless adult woman who was able to specially articulate her response to prejudice in America.

In the book, Maya Angelou uses rape, racism, self-image, and literacy to tell her story. Her young self has been said to symbolize the life of "every black girl growing up in America". The metaphor of her as a bird that escapes its cage is powerful and meaningful. This serves as a motif throughout the book and basically represents her life being racially oppressed as a black girl and woman in America.

In 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was nominated for a National Book Award and it made the New York Times paperback-bestseller list for two whole years. Educators across the world has used this piece of work to teach American history, classic literature, and a simple celebration of the American writer, Maya Angelou.

I know Why the Caged Bird Sings has been celebrated for nearly 50 years and is one of the greatest works of its time. The book is a story of America, not just a little girl.
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