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
The message that I got from it is, you may not control the things that people say to you, but you may control the feelings and effect you get from it. After Maya Angelou being raped from Freeman she did get traumatized but she didn’t let that stop her, even though she didn’t talk for almost 4 years she didn’t let that stop her. Her becoming a successful women after is an example of what she did. Winning award and many different things show that she didn’t let that moment stop her from doing what she loved to
Have you ever been affected by race in your life? Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior is an outcome of racism. Racism is a big conflict in today’s society and effect many lives. In the two stories “Champion of the Word” by Maya Angelou and “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples , race was the big social view being discussed. Racist ideology can become manifest in many aspects of social life.
Take, for example, Charlayne Hunter Gault, the first woman of color to enroll at the university of Georgia. According to several first hand accounts from that time, her enrollment was not easily accepted. Not only did she have to fight to get in, but that same battle only ended after it was pushed by several court cases and, consequently, the Brown vs. Board of education ruling. The resulting legislation emphasized her right to equal, nonsegregated academic opportunities, and led to her career as a successful journalist. In one of her pieces, “In My Place,” Gault writes, “with the support of our family and friends, we won the right that should have been ours all along.”(11-13) This pressure won her, and countless other integrationists, their inherent rights to equality and, eventually, acceptance. Another instance that showcases the impact of freeing the oppressed can be found in the metaphors of the free and caged birds as described by Maya Angelou. Her portrayal of the caged bird against that of the free bird shows a stark contrast that can be eliminated once he is freed. She describes his present state, writing, “The free bird leaps/ on the back of the wind/ and floats downstream/ till the current ends/and dips his wings/ in the orange sun rays/ and dares to claim the sky.// But a bird that stalks/ down his narrow cage/ can seldom see through/ his
“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.
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.
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 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,
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)
In “Champion of the World”, Maya Angelou tells a story of her childhood where the success of one man changed the future of her entire race. Maya Angelou, an African American woman, took a stand against racial segregation in form of her writing and words. She experienced many of the hardships that the people of her race were going through, and she knew it needed to stop.
Growing up, I dreaded going to school. People shouting at me, people pointing at me, snickering at me. Never being ordinary. I would get home and go to the bathroom, staring at myself in the mirror, tasting salt water on the tip of my lips. Wondering why I couldn’t fit in with everyone else. Wondering why nobody wanted to be my friend, coming to the realization that I had to endure all of this because of one simple thing: my skin color. A dark side of the nation reared its ghastly head in the 1950s and 60’s. Segregation and discrimination teemed in the streets. Martin Luther King Jr. captured that monstrosity in 1963 in Letter from a Birmingham Jail, utilizing devices such as diction, pathos, and metaphors to convey
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.
Still I Rise, written in 1978 by African American poet and civil-rights activist Maya Angelou, is a resoundingly courageous and unearthing poem with an inspiring invited reading directly related to the time period it was written in: during the declaration for Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The poem discusses an African American woman’s struggles against racism and hatred from the society. It consists of nine-stanzas, offering words of inspiration to those who have been oppressed. It sends a message of hope that even in the midst of adversity it is possible to overcome obstacles and find the inner strength and confidence to rise above them. This poem is very straightforward making the message more meaningful and affective. This poem teaches readers that all humans have strength within them that can help to overcome any obstacles. “Out of the huts of history 's shame…/ I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide…/ Into a daybreak that 's wondrously clear…/I rise…” (29-43) generate a glorious ending and reflection of being the hope and the dream of slaves as reflected in the freedom and opportunity of the present day. The message drives a point that no matter what, the protagonist will be triumphant. The importance of having appreciation of our previous generations for what they have done for us and what they have left is highlighted in line 39, “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave”. Also, “I am the dream and the hope of the slave” (40) shows how Angelou
In a way, Angelou sets her own tone, with a unique style. She captivates a historical period, that is turned in to a story of its own. Angelou uses a metaphoric way to compare a free bird to the “white race” while the encaged one is “African American”. There is also some assonance where she states, “But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams.” Another poetic device is alliteration, she explains “A bird in a narrow cage, can see through his bars of rage”. 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