"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" - Maya Angelou

Discussion in 'U.K.' started by phoenix_indigo, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. phoenix_indigo

    phoenix_indigo dreadfully real

    I just finished reading this one about a week ago. I remember my mom having a copy when I was younger, and I did try reading it back then; but for whatever reason I think I was just too young to appreciate it.

    I managed to come across a copy (again at a bootsale) last year, and finally got around to reading it. I'm so glad that I gave this book a second chance now that I am older and could get into the story better. This is a wonderful autobiographical tale of growing up as black woman in the South in America during the time of the depression and beyond.

    The poetry and symbolism used in this book makes for a truly melodic read.

    I've been lucky enough to have seen Maya speak at a College once a few years back and as I read I could imagine her voice speaking to me, telling me the story of her young life from a small child into her teens. I found myself wanting to keep reading and find out what happened next to her, but at the same time when I did get to the end of the book I was very sad it was over.

    Have any of you ever read this or any of her other books? I'm definitely looking forward to getting some of her other autobiographies that continue her life's story.
  2. Peace-Phoenix

    Peace-Phoenix Senior Member

    Sounds really interesting. Was she involved in the Civil Rights movement? So important, though, whilst I'm a great fan of Martin Luther King, I think perhaps he gets a little too much credit. There's a time for peace and a time for war. Black Panthers all the way man, fight the power....
  3. phoenix_indigo

    phoenix_indigo dreadfully real

    I can't say I agree with you about Martin Luther King, Jr. getting TOO much credit. He was a strong face behind the movement. He was very public and in the press and thus that is what got him assassinated.
    I do agree though that more should be said for other people involved in the Civil Rights Movement like Rosa Parks, and many of the Black Panthers as well.

    I'm not sure just how much Maya Angelou was involved in the Civil Rights Movement per se. She obviously would have been affected by it. But, the book I read so far of hers only takes you up until she is about 15 years old and pregnant.

    I looked it up in Wikipedia and it does mention that in her fourth book "The Heart of A Woman" it discusses more her stand on the Civil Rights Movement, etc. She did spend a good deal of time in Europe prior to that book; so I'm not sure where she was during the main push of the Civil Rights Movement, honestly.

    You can read more about her on the Wikipedia site.

    And as an unimportant side note.. I've always thought it interesting, personally, that her real name is Marguerite, which is an atypical name but is also my mother's name.
  4. Peace-Phoenix

    Peace-Phoenix Senior Member

    Maybe you're right, perhaps 'too much credit' was the wrong way to phrase it. The point was though, that one man rarely ever makes a movement, and peaceful protest only finds meaning in the context of violent struggle. You wouldn't be able to appreciate black, unless you set it against white. Without the Black Panthers, for example, the more moderate ambitions of King, acting as a voice of reason, would have had less influence on elite policy making. Equally, Gandhi's roll in Indian independence is overstated, and could quite easily have been ignored had not not been for Britain's economic situation and the violent uprisings in India. Still, Martin Luther King is a hero of mine, and I have a great deal of respect for the man....
  5. phoenix_indigo

    phoenix_indigo dreadfully real

    stated that way. I definitely agree with you. Martin Luther King has always been one of my "heroes" as well. Though I hate using that term for people but let's just say I have always admired what he did with his life and the courage he had to give his life for something he so ardently believed in.
  6. Peace-Phoenix

    Peace-Phoenix Senior Member

    I don't think it's wrong to have heroes, though it's usually better if they're dead. If they're alive, they can let you down, and there's nothing more disheartening than being betrayed by your heroes....
  7. phoenix_indigo

    phoenix_indigo dreadfully real

    you have a point there. there are people i admire, but i think to set any human being on a "hero" level you are bound to be disappointed by something. even if they are deceased, you never know what might come out about them, etc.

    i dunno. maybe i'm too jaded.
  8. Peace-Phoenix

    Peace-Phoenix Senior Member

    When it comes to heroes, it's not the person you worship/respect, it's the idea. The idea of Che Guevara, for example, is the idea of revolutionary struggle. Crucially it is the idea of successful revolutionary struggle, and one for a better, more just world, fighting the capitalist powers that be. One ignores the fact that his campaigns after Cuba were disastrous, that guerrilla warfare is a poor tactic when it comes to spreading a popular revolution and that some of his actions were very brutal indeed. Certainly not becoming of a hero. But he's passed beyond the world he might have occupied as a man, he's passed into the world of ideas, of symbols....
  9. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    Maya Angelou, I got really bored with her books about 10 /12 years ago, they are essentially the same plot rehashed, after reading a couple you just get bored of all the misery and the blame.

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