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George Ellie GeorgeDr. PierceAFAS 30614 August 2016Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsMaya Angelou’s account of her own life in her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsshows how her strong character as a young black woman enabled her to overcome the oppression and racism that she faced. Angelou finds peace within art, and she ends up using that art as a powerful communicator and is able to use her voice to speak for African American women as a whole. As Maya Angelou grows and matures from a girl into a woman, she begins to realize and resist the racist oppression that was so prevalent in the South. This essay will show how Angelou grows into her identity, which she was rather confused about as a young child, saying she was “white with light blue eyes and blonde hair”, and resists the oppression of racism and sexism, prevailing as a powerful black woman with a strong voice, allowing the influences of powerful and independent African American women to help her to be the same way andachieve great things not only for herself, but for black women all over the country (2).Maya Angelou is unfortunately sexually assaulted as a young girl, seduced by Mr. Freedman and his misleading persona, “from the way he was holding me I knew he’d never let me go or let anything bad ever happen to me” (79). Many black women