Being sexually abused at age eight was one of the first major events that greatly affected Angelou’s view of herself. She lost her childhood when everyone discovered what had happened. “I don't think she understood half of what she was saying herself, but, after all, girls have to giggle, and after being a woman for three years I was about to become a girl.” (154) Maya was never supposed to grow up as fast as she did and it did not help that she never had the guidance to get past what had happened to her. I, on the other hand, have always had guidance in my life. There are times when I have been left alone to make my own choices, but a lot of who I am comes from my family. I have not gone through the kinds of experiences that Maya has, but it made me take a step back and realize that people do not have the same kind of guidance that I have. My roots are planted deep in the ground, there is room for them to grow and follow new paths. Maya’s roots are planted near the surface, pulled out when she loses herself and replanted with her own hands as she begins to grow again. Although my roots are longer, they have the ability to be pulled out just as quickly as Maya’s, but she has shown me that the struggles have only made her blossoms more beautiful in the
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.” 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.
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.
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
“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.
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).
The style in what she wrote was soft and powerful. When she spoke you couldn’t help but listen. Main works done by her include several books of poetry, essays, autobiographies but she was also a talented playwright. One of her most well known poems, Phenomenal Woman, tells of how she may not be one definition of beauty but it is the air around her that is what makes her beautiful. It tells of how she is proud of who she is and she is not afraid to be a
Maya Angelou's book describes in great detail the events of her forming years and her emotions throughout. It begins in the perspective of her eight year old self experiencing her first loss. Angelou’s parents divorce and her move to stamps. This novel continues on to tell of Angelou's biggest troma. The book finishes after she graduates high school and gives birth to her first son. Essentially Maya Angelou describes the most relevant decade of her life. Which, overall was full of ups and downs but most importantly success.
The German philosopher Nietzsche once said, “That which does not kill us, make us stronger”, and in many instances this is exactly the case. In most every instance of tragedy or hardship, the people affected must either yield to or rise above their situation, and in rising above, develop or display extraordinary and exemplary traits uniquely fitted to dealing with that situation. As a result, without adversity, these talents would be left unused. There are instances in which people crack under the pressure or sink to the expectations of their situation, but, depending on the character of the person involved, they may take the situation and use it to better themselves. It is a unique opportunity to utilize or develop traits that often remain
Just like Douglass’ speech, Angelou’s poem greatly reflects discrimination and just how little people’s opinions about her do not mean anything. Maya Angelou one stated, “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise.” (pg. 3) She mentions that even if she may come from a past layered in gut-wrenching pain, no matter what has been thrown at her, she will look beyond them. Angelou also mentions, “Bringing the gifts thay my ancestors gave, I am the dream and hope of the slave.” (pg. 3) She is able to bring freedom and equality to the African American people, even if the white Americans do not agree with it. She is the voice of her people and will not stop until discrimination is
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.
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
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1931, after her parents’ divorce, Angelou and her older brother, Bailey, moved to Stamps Arkansas to live with their paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, and her crippled uncle, Willie. Their family resided in the living quarters attached to the back of the small store that they owned. As a young African American girl, Angelou experienced harsh racism and discrimination while in Stamps (Angelou, Maya).
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.