Book Critique: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

             “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou is a great piece of literature about the social, cultural, and racial struggles of African Americans during her childhood. It emphasizes the life of blacks vs. whites in Stamps Arkansas during the Depression. Angelou’s name was Marguerite, her brother’s name was Bailey Jr., and her grandmother’s name was Annie Henderson (Momma). I really like this book because it gives truthful insights on how blacks had to struggle to make a living not only for themselves, but for their children and in some cases, their grandchildren. I consider her viewpoint to be very educational, persuasive, and touching. Although I strongly admire Angelou’s opinions and details on her life story, I wouldn’t agree with some of her thoughts and situations and how she handled them.
             In the preface it talks about Angelou waking up out of a black ugly dream. She says, “My real hair, which was long and blond, would take the place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten. My light-blue eyes were going to hypnotize them, after all the things they said about ‘my daddy must have been a Chinaman’ because my eyes were so small and squinty…I had never picked up a Southern accent or spoke the common slang…I was forced to eat pigs’ tails and snouts. Because I was really white and because a cruel fairy stepmother, who was understandably jealous of my beauty, had turned me into a too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil.” This phrase really caught my attention because I would never have thought that young black people would wish to be of another color, especially white, after the way they were treated back then. Not saying there’s anything wrong with being white, but looking at the situation in those times, blacks should’ve been proud of who they were regardless of the struggles and rough times...

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Book Critique: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:13, January 21, 2017, from