English III Honors
21 November 2014
The Legacy of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, an inspirational American author, poet, and civil rights activist, was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, and died on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. Growing up, Angelou endured an abounding number of hardships from racism to sexism and poverty. However, regardless of the numerous hardships she encountered throughout her life, she still managed to be successful. Angelou received several honors for her outstanding literary work. Maya Angelou is a significant American because she prevailed against all obstacles and strived to become a positive role model for others. Angelou remains an important figure today; her legacy lives on.
Growing up, Maya Angelou faced many hurdles. She did not have much of anything the majority of her life. As a result, she wrote about her experience and struggles living in poverty. Much of her writing also focused on the theme of racism as well. As she was growing up, she lived in a time when there was an abundance of racial inequality in America. She often wrote about her experiences of brutal racial discrimination being a female African American during that time period. One of her most famous literary works is an autobiography by the name of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which she shares her difficulties associated with her race and gender. “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat,” Angelou wrote in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
Another reason a lot of her work had equality themes was because she lived in the same time period as other civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X. During the 1960’s, there was a big push for racial equality, and there were also many important civil rights movements occurring.
Ultimately, Angelou learned to embrace that she was a black woman and became proud...
Cited: Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Random House, 1970. Print.
Fox, Margalit. "Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 May 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
"Marguerite Annie Johnson." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
"Maya Angelou." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Writing Style." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
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