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African American Women In Maya Angelou's Still She Rises

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Still She Rises Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Great writers like Dr. Maya Angelou write about their experiences in life and the obstacles they have overcome. Resilient is a word that can be defined as able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Dr. Maya Angelou has been well known for her novels, poems, and stellar accomplishments. One of her novels, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is about Angelou as a little girl in the 1930s struggling with overcoming many diverse issues. From early childhood to the last years of her life, Maya Angelou has been a true example of a resilient African American woman. From being abandoned…show more content…
She was also often teased about being ugly. A memory that had imprinted on her life the most was when she was brutally raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. At first, she felt like Mr. Freeman truly loved her and that she wasn’t alone anymore. “I didn’t want to admit that I had in fact like his holding me, or that I had liked his smell or the hard heart-beating, so I said nothing”. As a seven year old, Angelou didn’t realize the immorality of Mr. Freeman’s sexually abuse. Angelou was agonized by the guilt of keeping the secret from her mother. Once Angelou’s mother learned of her sexual assault, Angelou’s uncles sought revenge and killed Mr. Freeman. His death made Angelou feel like she had been punished even more. The remorse was so excruciating that Angelou then made herself speechless and refused to talk to anyone. She next went back to Arkansas and spent many years in Kansas without speaking a…show more content…
In 1957, she also released her first album, Miss Calypso. Appearing in an off- Broadway production of The Blacks in 1961, Angelou starred with James Earl Jones, Lou Gossett Jr. and Cicely Tyson. In the 1960’s Angelou lived abroad, moved to Egypt then to Ghana, and later worked as freelance writer and an editor. After returning from Ghana, James Baldwin then encouraged Angelou to write about her life experiences. In 1969, Angelou’s efforts and memoirs became successful and published as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Writing this autobiography reminded Angelou not to give into the complications of growing up and to show young people an example of what she overcame. The novel was a personal statement that could relate to anyone who dealt with the same problems. Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated". I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings made history by being the first nonfiction best seller by an African American woman and the book made Angelou a worldly