In “Champion of the World,” an excerpt from Maya Angelou’s, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Angelou writes about the night Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, fights a white contender, challenging his heavyweight champion of the world title. In her narrative, she is able to show readers how racial discrimination oppressed the African Americans during the 1930s. Therefore, she is able to highlight the importance of that boxing match since it held so much deep meaning to her community. Angelou uses
Maya Angelou's perspective as a young African American girl is described in Chapter 19 of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, titled Champion of the World. Her community is gathered to support Joe Louis, the former champion, in a boxing match that determines if he'll continue being champion or not. As the story progresses in her grandmother's and uncle’s store, the tone transforms from hopeful to defeated, to triumphant. For example, the following quote, “It was another lynching, yet another black man
Perseverance is the steadfastness in doing something despite the difficulty in achieving success. In the stories “Occupation: Conductorette” and “Like the Sun” both protagonist: Angelou and Sekhar used perseverance to help deal with their conflicts. With them using perseverance, it assisted them towards what they wanted to accomplish. Perseverance is a valuable trait to possess because it helps make progress towards goals.
South Korea is the world’s plastic surgery capital with advertisements littering the walls of subways and increasing similarities in outward appearance among the workforce. Pressures are on for South Koreans and other Asians as family members nag and job applications routinely require an attached picture (Marx). Because of increasing interconnectedness and plastic surgery, cultural views in Asia have evolved into a unique blend of personal and societal preference that may be partially associated with Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks”.
Sometimes being from a different heritage than everyone else can be hard. This is shown in Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan and Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez. In Fish Cheeks Amy is embarrassed when the ministers family comes over for a traditional Chinese Christmas dinner. Amy is embarrassed by her family's unique customs and foods. In Names/Nombres Julia moves to America from the Dominican Republic and faces issues with her name. Julia wants to go by an American name but feels different because she's from a different heritage than her friends. Both Amy Tan from Fish Cheeks and Julia Alvarez from Names/Nombres learn significant lessons about self acceptance and learn to appreciate their culture.
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. She asks her readers to rise above their defeats, to not allow anyone to stop their dreams. In demonstrating how she succeeded she has been a role model for women of all cultures and races. The “Phenomenal Women” poem is a celebration
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.
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.
As many Chinese-Americans grew up in the 1960’s, one women described it best in her multiple literary works. Bestselling, Chinse-American writer, Amy Tan in her autobiographic essay, “Fish Cheeks”, illustrates her humiliating experience at a Christmas Eve dinner at the age of fourteen. Tan’s purpose is to interpret the idea of how her mother cared for Tan deeply and wanted her to be proud of her Chinese heritage and family. She adopts a nostalgic tone in order to engage relatable thoughts and feelings in her adult readers. Even decades after the essay had been written, readers can still relate to the embarrassing situation that Tan had to face.
Angelou’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement and her achievements as an activist were remarkable. While these achievements seem to be enough to last a lifetime, the Civil Rights Movement was only the beginning for Angelou. Angelou worked as an outspoken Civil Rights activist during the movement. But even after the Civil Rights Movement had ended, she continued to be a voice of humanity, speaking out against anything that harmed the human spirit. Angelou moved on to influence American society as a whole, from the 1970’s to the day she died, May 28, 2014. She was a multi-talented person as Toni Morrison, a friend and contemporary of Angelou, expressed: “She had 19 talents and used 10. And she was a real original.” (qtd, in Sherwell, 2014).
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. (MS 2)
Everyone has their different beliefs about being an American. But how do one know about being American if they are not accustomed to being an American? In a story, read by Quebalea Green called Fish Cheeks wrote by a young girl at the time named Amy Tan. In this story, Amy’s whose family including her was Chinese had a dinner for Christmas with Chinese traditional food. Amy thought it was a bad idea. Her family invited over their minister and his son that Amy had a crush on who were American. Amy was embarrassed by the selection of food her mother prepared being that her guest was American. She figured her dad didn’t display manners instead he acted like a pig by poking her favorite fish in the eyeballs and made a loud burp. By the looks on the minister’s son face, she knew she wouldn’t get a chance with him after. Amy mother said “You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame.” Amy’s mother was disappointed that Amy wasn’t being who she normal was trying to act American. Instead of believing in the beliefs she was taught. Amy has had her thoughts on what some of the things she considers to be American and one would have to disagree with her beliefs about Americans. Some of the things Amy believed is a part of Americans culture. Are Not all Americans have a
Making her way back to Los Angeles which black spokesman Bayard Rustin sought leadership advice from Maya in 1970. As well as being noticed as a Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Being honored by two presidents Ford and Carter, the Bicentennial Commission and the National Commission on Observance of the International Women 's Year. Maya 's humanistic topics grew greatly with recitation and songs, which was intended to a universal acceptance of human differences and celebration of similarities. Maya was mainly professed to one audience, “ Human beings we are more alike than we are unalike. That was one of the greatest lessons I learned.” [ Kevin Rogers, Biography.com] - Maya Angelou
Literature is never written – or read – for entertainment alone. There is always another purpose.
Life is a journey that is challenging for many people. As a result, many do not live up to their full potential. Nevertheless, there are always few distinguished people in every generation who master the art of living better than everyone else. Such individuals emerge as icons of the society and leave phenomenal legacies. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Maya Angelou are outstanding souls who made their communities and the world a better place. Undoubtedly, having paramount courage and undying love for the human race are the two virtues that anyone aspiring to live a life of purpose must have.