Maya Angelou I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Review

caged Birds

caged Birds

Years ago I read a beautiful book of poems by Dr Angelou, usually I like to keep my books, but with this one I felt the need to pass on and share the wise words of this wonderful lady. Recently I decided it was time to re acquaint myself with her works and where better to start than ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’. This is the first of her 6  volumes of autobiography, reading her books you really get the dichotomy of her love of the planet but also the innate knowledge and in fact first-hand experience of what a cruel place it can be.

Dr Angelou has seen both ends of the scale really; she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. I first became aware of her through Oprah Winfrey in the 90’s when she would have her on as a guest, seeing those two remarkable women together was a joy.

In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother’s lover.

‘I write about being a black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it’s like to be a human being. This is how we are, what makes us laugh, and this is how we fall and how we somehow, amazingly, stand up again’ Maya Angelou

I think the thing I take away most is that after all she has faced she feels no bitterness… in fact she turns all the negatives into positives and look where her life has taken her.


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