I Know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou – 1969

Synopsis: Following the divorce of their parents, at the age of 3 Maya Angelou and her 4 year old brother Bailey Jr are sent to live with their paternal grandmother Momma and uncle Willie in Stamps. Their grandmother owns a store in the black part of town, education is very important in this household and uncle Willie test them every night after school, any mistakes are punished by being burnt on a hot stove. This however aids Maya’s love for literature, that is later enhanced by Mrs Flowers. Life in Stamps is depressing and the racism unbearable, Maya dislikes the way her family is constantly disrespected by the white folk and doesn’t understand why her grandmother is polite to them. This autobiography shows how Maya overcame racism, sexual abuse and an impoverished background to become the woman she was in her time and the beautiful words she left behind with her. 

 

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