Maya Angelou Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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Category: Literature

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Maya Angelou is an American poet, a remarkable memoirist, an actress and has also been a vital stature in American Civil Rights Movements. Maya Angelou is popularly known for her autobiographies, the first one of the series was I Know Why The Cage Birds Sing, which was published in the year 1969 and brought her fame along with nomination for a National Book Award too. This book followed a series of five more autobiographies. However the critics are of the opinion that the first book was not written ith the intention of writing a series as all the books have nothing in common like the style or narration.

But these books are said to be from the memories of her life and the first book is said to recount her first ten to eleven years of her life. She was more admired for her guts to discuss her personal life in public, as she was one of the first African American women to do so. Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Fore I Die was her famous volume of poetry which was nominated for Pulitzer Prize and was published in the year 1971. Later in her career, Maya wrote articles, short stories and poetry for famous magazines like Cosmopolitan, Essence, Black Scholar, Redbook Magazine and many more.

She even composed music for movies, produced plays, lectured at universities and served different communities. Considering Maya Angelous short story Graduation which point up that opportunities for children differ because of their family background. In this story it is depicted that Maya is quite excited to graduate but seeing a white man giving speech she feels that as he is from the black background she has less opportunities. But in the end of the story she is filled with hope after one of her classmate sings The Negro National Anthem.

Even though Maya knows her limitations as a black woman she never gives up hope and keeps up her dreams. After the speech of the white man Maya thinks, The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys ( the girls werent even in on it ) would try to be Jesse Owensens and Joe Louises ( pg. ). Here while referring the names of four white geniuses Maya wants to point out that white people can become scholars like them.

But she mentions two black athletes and indicates that blacks can only become athletes and not scholars like them. Maya points out the hard time blacks face during their life with such less prospects open for them but they are strong enough to get through these hardships just because in past they faced much harder time than at that time. This brings back her hope and she wants to say that some can vercome their limits and live up for their dreams and desired future.

She also wants to convey a message that even if people have limitations because of their social status they can change their views from negative to positive. Maya depicts the same approach towards life in all her works. Teachers were even trained to teach their students how to talk about race with the help of her books. Her writing style even forces her white readers to give a second thought towards their privilege status and their feelings about race.

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