Life is a long journey in which we are forced to experience something new everyday. We have days of strength, days of weakness, days of honesty, and days of deceit. We are not fully in control of the what happens to us, but we have the power to choose where to go next. We have the option to be happy, to be sad, to be a leader, or to be a follower. Choice is powerful, without choice we would not have change-for better or for worse. Everyday can significantly change because of a single choice. But every choice is not always available to everyone. There are barriers that stand in the way of each, some can be broken down easily, while others take more time and effort. Maya Angelou experienced and overcame more of these barriers than I could ever
What was it like living in the world of an African American woman in the 1940s? An excerpt from the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings titled “Occupation: Conductorette” is an autobiography by Maya Angelou. Maya shares her story of how she was discriminated against throughout her life, specifically her teenage years. By examining the autobiography and explanations, the reader will understand how minorities, specifically African Americans, were treated and discriminated against in the 1940s and 50s. Discrimination has always been illustrated in our nation; Maya Angelou experiences this throughout her life and in the workforce.
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
America is a symbol of freedom. The poems “I, Too, Sing America” by Langston Hughes and “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou both describe how America was rather unfair during their times. Langston Hughes was a key figure during the Harlem Renaissance and Maya Angelou did not become famous or recognized until her first autobiography. Even though “I, Too, Sing America” and “Still I Rise” have completely different tones, they both convey the message of how inequality was prevalent in America. Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou both talk about how in the future they will come back and be free.
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.
Let us say someone encountered a bump in life or something bad happened people will always move past it eventually because people cannot let something weigh them down for the rest of their lives. The big message or idea of these two poems is to keep moving on because people will always have to deal with problems. In “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou they both convey the message that people should never give up and keep on rising no matter what happens or what people say.
Throughout the trial-and-error events that have happened in America, there are good and bad results in the end. During the 20th century, a big positive result was the art that had developed during this time. From paintings to poems, and sculpture to music, everything was inspiring to many individuals. There were many pieces of art that were so inspirational and thought-provoking that they are still around in the 21st century. Some authors during this time period share a similar idea, possibly due to the time period by which they lived or by experiences that they shared, but they also have a stark difference, whether it is in the tone, the diction, or even the point of view from the speaker. Two speakers
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
“A Caged Bird” is a poem by Maya Angelou, that describes the struggle of a bird ascending from the restrictions with adverse surroundings. The poem renders the oppression that has affected African Americans over the years. As Angelou explains, the bird fights its imprisonment even with fear, but rises above with the stance of freedom. “Phenomenal Women” by Maya Angelou discusses beauty being in the eye of the beholder. You don’t have to have a perfect physique or focus entirely on outer beauty. Inner beauty has more definition, she explains that women should appreciate their flaws. After all there is only one of you and everyone was created differently.
Hailed as one of the immense voices of contemporary African American writing, Maya Angelou 's scholarly works have created basic and well known enthusiasm for part, since they portray her triumph over unimpressive social impediments, her battle, as a woman, to accomplish an identity and gain self-acknowledgment. Such themes tie Angelou 's writings closely to the concerns of the feminist literary movement. Dr Angelou has additionally been noted for her clear depictions of the strongest ladies throughout her life. Angelou’s one of the most inspiring poems Still I Rise will be one of the texts for analysis. The other three are as follows: Phenomenal Women, Men and Women Work. The four texts show a strong bond of feminism and depict Angelou’s experiences
‘Still I Rise’ by the American, Maya Angelou presents the character of a black woman who is oppressed in the 1970s but refuses to accept this. ‘Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen, however, is concerned with a character who is ‘broken’ after the disabilities he suffers in the First World War at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The world is no stranger to oppression. Madness driven from an inferiority complex based on racial stigma. Prohibition of freedom being yet another way to inflate this expanding social divide between the oppressors and the oppressed, between white and black. Within the poem I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, this concept of social division due to the desire of freedom and the desire to restrict the freedom of others is explored through the implementation of a variety of literary devices: symbolism, metaphors, sudden tone shifts, and a constant underlying allegory. Driven by her own experiences being raised during a time period where segregation and racism were acceptable behavior amongst the masses, Angelou illustrates this problematic normalization of discrimination through the juxtaposition of a free bird to a caged bird to convey the theme of oppression and the hope of freedom brought on by such.