The Challenges Of Maya Angelou As An African American Woman

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Among many dominant civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., there was one who was an inspiration long before she was an icon: Maya Angelou. Though she faced many hardships in life, Maya never let that prevent her from making a difference in the world. Maya’s social identity of being an African American woman led to boundaries to her success, but she was determined to achieve much more. Despite the many oppressions she faced, she was also privileged in different ways. With hard work, devotion, and determination, she went on to impact the society in the most positive way. Dr. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928, and died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on May 24, 2014, at the age of eighty-six (Lupton 6). Maya Angelou was an African American poet, memoirist, and civil…show more content…
She faced the inevitable racial oppression of being an African American woman in a racist society. “Double jeopardy theory suggests that black women may face additional challenges because their race is devalued” (Buchanan 2008). She was also oppressed because of her gender, “For all women, gender is devalued and ascribed a low status” (Katz,Joiner, & Kwon 2002), and religion. Through these struggles Angelou strived to make a difference in her life, she continued to build a strong family relationship that helped assist in developing confidence against her intrapersonal oppression. Throughout Maya's life she continued to work to break racial barriers and she worked for equality non-violently. “Her search for roots, her involvement with the politics of her people in the United States and Africa, give her work a depth that is absent in many other such works” (Cudjoe 1990,304). Maya’s social identities of being an African American woman led to boundaries to her success. However, she was determined to achieve much more regardless of the difficulties she

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