Maya Angelou Analysis

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Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is considered by many to be the foremost poet of her age. While the themes of her literature are largely connected, her delivery is varied. In her poetry, she has used wit, sarcasm, imagery, and diverse rhythm. Angelou has used these techniques and the recognition it has provided for her, to fight for the civil rights of African Americans and women. After examining the life of Maya Angelou, it is easy to see that much of her work focuses on the significance and discrimination of African Americans and women. Poems written by Maya Angelou, including Phenomenal Woman, Million Man March Poem, and Still I Rise support this theme. Phenomenal Woman primarily focuses on the significance of women as Million Man March Poem does to the discrimination of African Americans. One of Maya Angelou’s most famous poems, Still I Rise, brings together both ideas by expressing the significance of African Americans and women.
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. During her childhood, her and her brother went to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas after her parents divorced. In Arkansas, Maya suffered through several hardships that led to the theme of her poetry. This being the significance and discrimination of African Americans and women. Being an African American, she experienced the racial discriminatory lifestyle that many supported in the south. What had an even larger impact on her, was being sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend during a visit when she was only 7 years old. Angelou would not tell anybody about what happened, but when her uncle found out about the incident and killed the rapist, she felt at fault. She didn’t speak until she was 13. Maya Angelou also t...

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...(Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1997): pp.
127–29. Quoted as "'Still I Rise' and the Black Spiritual 'Rise and Shine'" in Harold Bloom, ed. Maya Angelou, Bloom's Major Poets. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishing, 2001. (Updated 2007.) Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 7 May 2014

"Maya Angelou Biography." -- Academy of Achievement. N.p., n.d. Web.
06 May 2014.

Thursby, Jacqueline S. "'Million Man March Poem'." Critical Companion to Maya Angelou: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work,
Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2011. Bloom's
Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 9 May 2014

Thursby, Jacqueline S. "'Phenomenal Woman'." Critical Companion to
Maya Angelou: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work,
Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2011. Bloom's
Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 9 May 2014
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