Psst, wanna know who Maya is?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou is one of the most influential women in American history and was a poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist, whose award-winning memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman.
Angelou had a difficult childhood. As a black woman growing up in Stamps, Arkansas, Maya experienced racial prejudices and discrimination all throughout her life. At the age of seven, Angelou was assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend, who was then killed by her uncles as revenge. The incident traumatised Angelou to the point that she became a virtual mute for many years.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as well as her other works have been one of the loudest voices in the civil rights movement, and explore subjects such as identity, rape, racism, and literacy, and illustrate how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma.
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