Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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Maya Angelou
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” This quote by Maya Angelou showcases her voice of resilience and is one of the reasons she is celebrated. Growing up in the the south in the 1930’s and 40’s Angelou experienced hardships such as racial and gender discrimination, and a rough childhood. Angelou is well known for her many autobiographies of love and her struggles. In the face of racial prejudice and sexual abuse, Maya Angelou is a voice of resilience for overcoming these hardships with her optimism and self expression.
Born on April 4, 1928, Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, raised mostly by her grandmother under strong Christian beliefs. When she was only 7 years old, her mother's boyfriend
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Angelou joined the Harlem Writing Guild which is where she began writing one of her most popular autobiographies I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings about her childhood. She has starred in many TV series and movies and even recorded songs and albums.To count, she has written 30 books, received over 36 Bestselling Awards, and even won a Grammy for best spoken word album. Angelou recited her poem at President Clinton’s inauguration, awarded with the Presidential Award of Arts, National Medal of Arts, had he poem delivered by President George Bush at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and President Barack Obama presented her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor in 2010 (“Maya Angelou”). Angelou expressed her feeling through her poetry and music inspired by sources such as Martin Luther King Junior's “I Have a Dream” speech. These successes were fuel by her background and childhood. She brought attention to the struggles she faced by channeling them in an expressive …show more content…
When she was only eight years old, she went to the movie. The young girl who worked in the ticket booth would not touch the dime she paid with. Instead she raked it into the money box with a card. Angelou claims this girl’s family had no money. They lived in a small house behind the town that they hadn't paid rent for in years, but because she was white it made no difference that Angelou's family had the same income as them. She would cry, knowing if she was white that she wouldn’t experience these difficulties is her skin were white. In this quote from an interview in 2013, the interviewer asked if she has stood up for other people and she answered, ” Oh yes, many times. I raised a black boy. I've defended myself first, and I raised a black boy. I have black children, and I have gay friends, and gay children. I have defended whites.” (“Maya Angelou Interview”). Angelou not only spoke out for the African American race but for anyone she saw being discriminated.
“I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” (Maya Angelou) Maya Angelou threw back success. Maya Angelou is a voice of resilience for overcoming these hardships. She did not allow herself to give up because it was hard, but worked harder because she knew that is what she had to do. Angelou faced many difficulties that