100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 9 pages.
Amber GrayMaya AngelouDue: May 15, 2009
I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsby Maya Angelou is the book I chose to read and write a book report on. The book is an autobiography about her life from the time she was a toddler until she was 17 years old. I chose this book because Maya Angelou is a strong black woman who has been through many hardships in her life and has overcome each one to fulfill her dreams and become one of the most influential black writers and motivational speakers in America. She grew up during the Great Depression and lived in the racist south. Throughout the book, Angelou relates to other black females that have struggled with being accepted in society that sees them as inferior due to their race and gender. She struggles with acceptance from her peers and sometimes even her own family. Angelou has changed history in more ways than one. She influences many women to be strong and make something of themselves no matter where they came from or what race they happen to be. “Phenomenal women” is one of her famous poems that is often quoted and is a perfect example of the message she tries to relate to other women. She tells women to get out of the shadow and expose themselves with pride. To me, and many others, she is an influential character in the growth of woman pride and the increase of female opportunities. Although there are many equal rights and female empowerment organizations, I believe she individually helped “pave the way” for huge changes for all of the generations following her.
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928. Her parents divorced when she was very young. Angelou and her older brother Bailey were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Alabama. Her brother was the most important person to her in her childhood. Most of her writings were influenced from him in some way. When she was finally reunited with both her mother and father she regarded them as strangers and did not know how to approach them. Maya and her brother moved to live with their mother in St. Louis when she was 8 years old. While living with her mother she went through a very traumatic experience. Her mother’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, sexually molested her and then raped her. She tried to keep this fact a secret but Maya finally revealed who the perpetrator of the crime was. Later that week Mr. Freeman was found beaten to death by her uncles. Angelou felt guilty, thinking that her words