In the poem, Angelou stands up against the people that have torn her down because of her race and femininity. “You may kill me with your hatefulness” (Angelou 23), she tells them, “But still, like air, I’ll rise” (Angelou 24). Maya Angelou is displaying excellence in her poem by achieving her highest potential as an African American woman, regardless of the degrading comments people make about her. Maya Angelou’s poem teaches its readers to accept the person they are, no matter what people, or society, think of
In Maya Angelou’s chapter Mrs. Flowers, Marguerite Johnson, finds how to become successful in a segregated America. What Mrs. Flowers does is teaches Marguerite how to avoid racist people, that usually meant staying home. Mrs Flowers made her memorize many works of literature such as poems. “Take this book of poems and memorize one for me. Next time you pay me a visit I want you to recite it.”
Maya Angelou was a strong African-American women who made an influential impact on the Civil Rights Movement, in bother her actions, and her literature. Her life experiences and courage helped others, and made her work influential. During Maya’s early life, she experienced many hardships that shaped her into the person many remember her as. Born on April 4, 1928, she only lived in St. Louis, MO for three years before her parents got divorced, and Maya, along with her mother and brother, moved in with her grandparents in Arkansas. At the age of eight, raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Maya learned the power that words possess.
T’keyah Bannister Mrs.Fabbi English 11 Honors 04 December 2015 Maya Angelou: Nonconformist American “I will not allow anybody to minimize my life, not anybody, not a living soul-- nobody, no lover, no mother, no son, no boss, no President, nobody.” - Maya Angelou Often labeled as a feminine writer, African- American autobiographer, historian, lecturer, journalist, activist, filmmaker, poet, singer, actor, and storyteller. Set out with many challenges which includes knowing many different languages from French, italian, spanish, Serbo-
When thinking of a historical figure, many imagine a president, king, or general that lead a country to greatness, but never realized some could be the ones who influence the minds of society. Although not thought of as anything, writers and poets hold the key to shaping the society’s mindset without even knowing it. Being a civil rights activist, social activist, and role model for women makes Maya Angelou a historical figure who has made a huge impact in American society and in American history. Born poor and black, she was a childhood victim of rape, shamed into silence. She was a young single mother who had to work at strip clubs for a living.
Maya Angelou, as a young, black woman with no excess of money, was part of perhaps the most challenged group of people and she was able to blossom and grow even within those conditions. Despite, or perhaps as a result of, her struggles, she was able to see the good in her life and in people and hold her own against the constant discrimination that could have crippled someone else and left them bitter. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou shares the various adversities she faced throughout her life and how she overcame each and every one. Through positive role models like her momma, the glamorous Mrs. Bertha Flowers who gave her “lessons in living” (Angelou 98), her beloved brother, and various others, as well as books which were her constant companion throughout life, she too was able to see past her own conditions and become a better person. Her experiences only served to thicken her skin and instill in her a sense of empathy, determination and an understanding of the world around her.
“Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.” (Online - White House). This memorial statement, by Barack Obama in 2014, encompasses how many felt towards Maya Angelou, one of the most influential writers and voices of her generation. Over the course of her lifetime, Maya Angelou was awarded over 50 honorary degrees and received the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Angelou’s personal admiration and self-love that is reflected in her poetic works, specifically, “Phenomenal Woman,” is credited to the overcoming of her traumatic childhood and her work in activism.
Maya Angelou philosophy and teachings are timeless. There is a lesson to be learned in her more than 30 published works and her lessons taught as a professor and lecturer. More important she lived what she preached. She had a strong belief in humanity as a whole, in the human spirit and in the African American community. She fought tirelessly to change extinguish racism, prejudice and discrimination during a time when she herself as a black woman experienced its effects.
When she says “I would like to claim an immediate fury followed by the noble determination to break the restricting traditions” (Angelou, 143). This shows that Angelou has determination to change the traditions and break the barrier between her race and
In Maya Angelou’s “Graduation” she spoke about a fictional character named Marguerite Johnson and her eighth-grade graduation. Marguerite was always kinda of lost and selfish at times, and never look at how others seen things. But as the story goes on Marguerite starts to find herself and understand others. “Graduation” isn’t just about how Marguerite pass on to the next grade but how she has grown from a lost girl to a young intelligence woman. In this story the reader is going to follower her on this surprising journey.
In “Momma, the Dentist, and Me,” Maya Angelou describes Mommas’ struggle during racial segregation in a childhood memory and in a rare but glorious case is overcome. Angelou recalls when she and Momma, her grandmother, go to the dentist for a toothache severe enough that young Angelou contemplates death to feel relief from the excruciating pain. Angelou imagines her Momma’s actions in the dentist's office after being turned down heroically. Angelou demonstrates a small victory over racism with Momma’s actions as she stands valiantly against racial injustice. In order to strengthen her narrative, Angelou employs imagery, hyperbole, and tone effectively.
“Phenomenal Woman” Phenomenal Woman, by Maya Angelou is an inspiring poem that encourages women, including myself to be confident and to love themselves just the way they are. It encourages women to be independent and confident despite what others think about them, especially men. In “Phenomenal Woman”, there are various literary devices used, some of which include repetition, parallelism, metaphors and personification. The obvious repetition in the poem is at the end of every stanza, through the phrases” I am a woman, phenomenally, phenomenal woman, that’s me”.
The tone is angry but yet determined, whereas the surroundings will not cause defeat. There is hope, hope for a better place but also hope for a better future. One that looks past race, but expresses freedom. The freedom to not judge one by color but embrace one another, live with in equality. Angelou describes the denial of basic freedom, actually being held down because of the shade of one’s
Maya Angelou worked as a professor at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 1991 to 2014. As an African American women, one whose life was full of racial discrimination and gender inequality, she had plenty of experience and wisdom to share with her students. During her time working at the university, she taught a variety of humanities courses such as “World Poetry in Dramatic Performance,” “Race, Politics and Literature,” “African Culture and Impact on U.S.,” and “Race in the Southern Experience” (Wake Forest University,
The poems in this essay both talk about being a woman. “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou is about more of a confident woman while “Woman” by Nikki Giovanni is about a woman who wants a man to change for her. The poems though very different, are also similar because they both talk about confidence as a woman. By the end of both poems the narrators both know that they are women who are strong and do not need anyone else 's acceptance but their own. They know their own self worth and that is enough for them.