Her life was not an easy one but she overcame adversity and created some of the most beautiful pieces of literature, as well as poetry, of the 20th century. Her works prove that you may come from a horrible background but you are able to become someone worth something in the eyes of society. Maya Angelou wanted equality for all and therefor fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Right Movement of the 60’s.
This story connects directly back to Maya Angelou’s life. She was always memorizing writing as a child. It was because of that she thrived in so many different occupations and won two grammys. Maya Angelou is showing that even when you are put in the worst of circumstances it is possible to succeed.
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.
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 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,
“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.
Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou were African Americans alive during the period in American history when minority groups were fighting hard for their rights and respect among the country. These two authors used their writing skill to shed light on how African Americans felt throughout this period of time, opening many people’s eyes to how the oppressed truly felt. The civil rights movement could have had an entirely different outcome if it weren’t outspoken individuals such as these two. In Hughes’s well known poem “I, Too,” Hughes talks about how the people that mistreat him will soon regret everything they’ve done and will realize the true potential of him and everyone like him.
III. a. Maya Angelou was an avid writer, speaker, activist and teacher. As a result of the many hardships that she suffered while growing up as a poor black woman in the south she has used her own experiences as the subject matter of her written work. In doing this she effectively shows how she was able to overcome her personal obstacles. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) tells the story of her life and how she overcame and moved forward triumphantly in spite of her circumstances.
John Hancock made the world a better place in many ways. But he didn't make the world a better place by doing one thing….. he did many things. For example, he was a merchant, statesman and a prominent Patriot of the American Revolutionary War. He also served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Though he was jailed many times, he persisted to strike out against what he believed to be injustice. One of Gandhi’s most memorable lines, “noncooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good”, thoroughly highlights his philosophy of nonviolently refusing to cooperate with injustice. Though most of our early activists were male figures, Susan B. Anthony was an exception. Born into a Quaker family with strong beliefs for social reform, Anthony followed in the footsteps of her father and elder siblings and became a successful social activist for her time. She played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement and anti-slavery campaigns.
The author uses personification which expresses the theme because it shows people saying mean things about the speaker, but they keep moving on. In the poem Angelou states, “You may shoot me with your words, / You may cut me with your eyes, / You may kill me with your hatefulness” (21-23). This literary device is used to show that the speaker will keep moving on no matter what people say about them and how it is relatable because sometimes you get that look from someone. Another device Maya Angelou uses is a simile because she shows that even though people are saying all this mean stuff the speaker is still happy and joyful. Maya Angelou states, “Like dust, I’ll rise” (4).
Susan Anthony’s impact on life was really big and helped a lot of people. She gave me a big impact in life and because of her,I realized that I can do whatever I want to do. Because of her I noticed that women have the right to stuff they want to do,and stuff they wanna work on. If she was able to fight for women’s rights and help end slavery,every person is able to fight for stuff they want or stuff they want to end.
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.