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“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sing” by Maya Angelou

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“I know why the caged bird Sing” written by Maya Angelou is a amazing and inspiration autobiography about a black girl growing up in the American South in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Although, Maya had many difficulties in her life, she always found away to overcome each battle and with good people that she come in counter with help her in a way. As I read the book I stopped and put myself in her place. I felt her pain of abandonment, low self-esteem and feeling unwanted. Her difficulties made me feel overwhelmed as I compared it to my own life situations there were just to many similarities and a feeling of understanding with this book.

Even through Marguerite’s and her older brother Bailey’s childhood and early youth was far from typical for the average black family for that time. This book nonetheless helps you feel what it meant to be a black girl or women from the south at that time. Maya Angelou living in the midst of racism and unequal access to opportunity, Maya was still able to surmount the obstacles that stood in her way of intellectual develop and find higher ground. When Maya was young, her parents divorced and sent her and her brother to live with there paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson in the segregated town of Stamp, Arkansas. Annie, whom they also call Momma, runs the only store in the black section of Stamp and become the central moral figure in Maya’s childhood. Marguerite Johnson, is influenced by by some many people including Bailey Jr, Momma Henderson, and Mrs Bertha Flower. Bailey and Momma played in very important role for Maya’s young life. Then, Mrs. Flowers, the black aristocrat of Stamps, saves Maya during an especially difficult time in her life. All in all, these people in Maya’s life plays an important role models in the development of Marguerite through her young years.

Marguerite, Brother Bailey was one of the first of the role model in Maya’s life. In the novel, Maya stated (p.36) “I would be a major loser if Bailey turned up dead; For he was all I claimed, if not all I had”. Bailey is one year older then is sister Maya but yet they are every close and have a lot in common. As the owner, of a small shop their grandma is rather well off for the range black women in the south back in the 40’s. Maya and Bailey didn’t suffer from the economic hardships like the other black children in there town, not even during the worst of the depression years. Her grandmother was extremely religious and strict and felt that children “should be seen but not heard”, (p. 34).

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