-I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings-

Maya Angelou

Born on the 4th of April, 1928, in Saint Louis, Missouri, Angelou spent most of her childhood in a town called Stamps in Arkansas. Her early life is one of terror and abuse, being raped by her mother’s boyfriend before she was eight years old. When she told others about it, he was murdered. This series of trauma left Maya mute for many years. In 1940, she moved to San Francisco with her mother, working many jobs to make money, from a cook to a prostitute. 


In the 1950s, she moved to New York where those in the Harlem Writers’s Guild encouraged her to pursue literature. She had also found a part in an opera by George Gershwin called ‘Porgy and Bess’ which saw her tour multiple countries across the globe, studying dance as well. 


Angelou returned to America in 1966 after briefly living in Cairo, and wrote ‘Black, Blues, Black’, a television series about the presence of African culture in America. She also wrote the drama ‘Georgia, Georgia’ in 1972. Angelou has also been given a Tony Award nomination for her work in ‘Look Away’, a performance of 1973. 


Angelou has also invested time in poetry, publishing collections such as ‘Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie’ in 1971, ‘Now Sheba Sings the Song’ in 1987, and ‘I Shall Not Be Moved’ in 1990. In 1981, Angelou became a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina despite not having a college education. 

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a true story about the author’s hard life during the 1960’s, a time in which black people are seen as inferior in many different aspects by society.

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