Maya Angelou's Autobiography

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Abstract: This paper deals with one of the autobiographical series of Maya Angelou as how she grew up black and female.Dominant in Angelou’s autobiography is the exploration of the self – the self in relationship to the others. One of the central concerns in this study is the exploration of a particular kind of self and identity that emerges from her writings. A study of Maya Angelou’s autobiography is significant not only because it offers insights into personal and group experience in America, but also because it is better than its formidable autobiographical predecessors. Angelou, throughout her autobiographical writing, adopts a special stance in relation to the self, the community and the world. Key words: struggle, exploration of the …show more content…

In 1970 she was appointed as writer-in-Residence at the University of Kansas and as a Yale University Fellow. Maya published here, the first of her five-volume autobiographical series, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Through the device of autobiography, Angelou has celebrated the richness and vitality of Southern Black life and the sense of community that persists in the face of poverty and racial prejudice, initially revealing this celebration through a portrait of life as experienced by a Black child in the Arkansas of the 1930s (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1979). The second volume (Gather Together in My Name, 1974) delineates a young woman struggling to create an existence that provides security and love in Post-World War II America. The third (Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry like Christmas, 1976) presents a young, married adult in the 1950’s seeking a carrer in show business and experiencing her first amiable contact with the Whites. The fourth volume (the Heart of Woman, 1980) shows a wiser, more mature woman in the 1960’s examining the roles of being a woman and a mother. In her most recent volume, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986), Angelou goes beyond familiar borders in order to see and understand the world from another’s vantage

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