The strengths of a woman are beyond compare. We as woman have to endure so much pain but we overcome it so well. From our many heartbreaks to having no choice but to endure scheduled monthly pain. Our species is unfortunately extremely emotional and not to mention creating life inside of our bodies followed by childbirth. These are some of the many things that hurt us but also make us strong and phenomenal. One specific phenomenal woman who had to go through the above mention plus much more was the late Maya Angelou. Angelou was an Author, Actress and a great inspiration to not only woman but millions of people around the world. Some of her poems such a “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still I rise” reflect on being a strong, confident, beautiful woman. Angelou’s strength came from struggles and racial discriminations as an African American woman; and for these reasons many women admire and can relate to Angelou.
Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” (1978) speaks about all aspects of a great woman. “Its in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride in my steps, The curl of my lips”(ln. 6-9) describes the physical beauty and confidence of a strong woman. In this particular poem you can read it and gain confidence instantly. One critic even said that “Phenomenal Woman’ is a woman’s primer for self-confidence” (Rose, 2011). In addition to Angelou’s work about strength, the poem “Still I rise” speaks of being emotionally and mentally knocked down many times, yet still getting back up and becoming a better and stronger person each time. This poem opens up by saying “ You can write my name down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise (ln. 1-4). In my opinion this is a very strong statement that mean nothing or no one will ever hold me down; which is an issue that minorities struggle with. It was poems like this that were the reason many people looked up to Angelou; she helped many get through rough times. There was never any real consistency or stability for Angelou. When she was just three years young, her parents divorced and sent baby Angelou to Arkansas to live with her grandmother. At the age of seven her mother’s boyfriend molested her. Angelou’s uncle eventually killed the guy for raping her and this was all to much for Angelou who after this incident wouldn’t speak again until she was 13. Angelou lived through extreme poverty trying many ways to make a living, “ and although the kings and underworld- gamblers and prostitutes, black- marketeers and boosters may have been the last to feel the pitch, poverty was everywhere. (Koyana 2002). Getting pregnant at the age of 16 was, constantly being racially profiled and abused are in addition