Review: Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The phenomenal woman, Dr. Maya Angelou, with more than 50 honourary doctorates is a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Her voice influences.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography addressing rape, social class, racism, and feminist themes.

Angelou grew up amongst different races, was affected by race, defined by class, and these influences on her character would change each time she moved to a different locale, parented by different people and relatives. Defining moments came in life’s experiences, both small and large, each joyous or negating, making for momentous affectations on her astute view of herself and her world.

When she was faced with violence, she thought, “At fifteen, life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.”

Sometimes I hear Angelou’s voice narrate I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. She seemed to have a spirited nature who knew how to move through the highs and lows of our world. Even at times when she was violated, as a girl, as a black woman, and as a human being.

I don’t hear a lack of emotion, rather I hear the strength of courage in her words.

Books and education seemed to have saved her, somewhat. She even took refuge in a library when she found herself homeless.

Bad stuff happens all of the time and you can only trust a few people, but you have to move through it all. And with that, Angelou is grace.

~Fond of her poems, one of my favourite Dr. Maya Angelou quotes: “Does my sassiness upset you?”~

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