Caged Bird Sings Education

1568 Words7 Pages
One of the darkest times in American history was the enslavement of African people. Slavery in America was the ownership and exploitation of individuals for unpaid labor. Even though slavery came to an end, racism influenced segregation and violence for years to come. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou discusses the coming of age in the first seventeen years of her life which reveals how she deals with traumatic adversities. The Southern State, which was known as one of the most racist areas in the 1930’s, Stamps, Arkansas was home to Marguerite Ann Johnson. Throughout her childhood, Marguerite battles racism, displacement, and sexual abuse. Marguerite could not have survived without the privilege of being guided by three maternal…show more content…
Flowers is a smart, elegant African-American woman who bestows the power of education onto Marguerite. Mrs. Flowers speaks to Marguerite about the importance of articulation: “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning” (98). Mrs. Flowers is teaching Marguerite to approach books with critical thinking skills to enhance her own learning experience. She wants Marguerite to exercise, reading out loud and move out of her comfort zone despite her resistance to even converse with others. The benefits of children reading not only strengthen their intellect, but “The words of the story act as mirrors in which the children’s conflicts and feelings –fear, jealousy, aggressiveness, loneliness, and the need, the wish of being loved and accepted– are reflected while offering the child fictional alternatives and solutions” (Stockar, par. 35). It is vital for children to read because it functions as an outlet to reduce stress and anxiety. Reading gives a child the opportunity to widen their imagination and creativity, as well as learn life lessons and morals. After enjoying cookies together, Marguerite notices Mrs. Flowers bring over a book: “She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life” (100). Mrs. Flowers shares her knowledge with Marguerite to lay the foundation for education through a new genre of literature. Mrs. Flowers set goals for Marguerite to accomplish because she believes in Marguerite’s ability to grow as a young scholar and explore the beauty of literature with no
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