The Life Lessons in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I watched a movie the other night called, “The Color of Friendship”. It was about a white teenage girl from Africa, visiting America on a Foreign Exchange Program. She was placed in a Black home and was very frightened at first because she was taught, as a child, to dislike Blacks. She befriends the teenage hostess and decides that Blacks are not as bad as she was taught to believe. While she is visiting America she tells her new friend about all the books and television shows and movies that have been banned from her culture, and she doesn’t know why.

The movie talked about racism and topics that were “illegal” to be talked about. I don’t think anything should be banned because it is wrong or not covering the world and local ‘wrong-doings’ we try and shelter our kids from. People should be able to know what goes on and what we can protect ourselves from. This book is great and should be on the required reading list for high-school ages.

One of the best things about this book is that Maya talks about the rape so honestly and openly. She tells us what he said and what he did, and this could help us prevent anything from happening to us and our loved ones. Maya tells us of her trip to Mexico and this story helps us to see that even if we are scared and we feel alone, we have to keep going to save ourselves.

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Maya also tells us of her relationship with her Brother, Bailey, her Mother, “mother dearest”, her grandma, “Momma”, and her father, Bailey Sr. When she talks about her family she tells us about their relationships and what they say or do that is great and what is bad. She describes relationships that she has that we take for granted.

When Maya talks about her graduation, she tells us of the speaker they had, who told them and the audience, that he would be surprised if any of them became successful. Hearing this, Henry Reed, turned to the Class and conducted them in singing the Negro National Anthem. It’s a song written by James Weldon Johnson and his wife J. Rosamond Johnson. The Class of 1940 sang this song and believed in themselves even after being put down by an old white guy. Maya’s struggles and triumphs can help us, even today, to overcome fears and obstacles. I believe this book should be in every library and every English classroom across the U.S. This book can help us realize that what happened in the past should stay the past.

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The Life Lessons in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. (2023, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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