See also Maya Angelou Criticism. Hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary African-American literature, Angelou is best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a volume of autobiography which details her encounters with Southern racism and her prepubescent rape by her mother's lover.
Her literary agent Helen Brann confirmed the news to press, and thus began a worldwide outpouring of grief.
She is hailed as a national best selling author, a genius, a spiritual God- Grand- and mother. She is lauded as everything Black women should aspire to emulate in life.
So why is it very few of us know she was a sex worker in her youth?
Why was this secret kept by seemingly everyone except Dr. We can, once again, boil it down to respectability politics and stigma. I am angry about it. I find myself ruminating, considering, wondering: If her work had been talked about as much as her dancing with James Baldwin or even her considerable, commanding, and lovely height of six feetwhat would the sex work community look like today?
If we had talked about her wonderful compassion for sex workers, how she never looked down on them, and her refusal to be intimidated by invasive and obnoxious questioning about her sex working pastwhat would sex workers around the world be saying today in memory of her life?
The media uses inflammatory terms to get clicks and to emphasize the terrible and shameful secret that was, in actuality, never a secret at all. Angelou herself says she was never ashamed.
I have no skeletons in my closet.
In fact, I have no closet. My mom or dad never did anything wrong. She spoke candidly to her family about it. She told her mother, brother, and son she would redact the information from the book, but only if they were uncomfortable with it. She had no issue whatsoever with speaking her truth.
So why do we not know about it, save for hushed whispers and the occasional salacious reference in reports about and interviews of her? Respectability politics no doubt play a role in the erasure of her history as a sex worker.
But she had no problem stating plainly: Poet Laureate, Pulitzer nominee, Tony Award winner, best selling author, poetess, winner of more than 50 honorary degrees, mother, sister, daughter, wife, National Medal of Arts winner, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, consummate and powerful woman, artist, and former sex worker.
Yes, the woman you love, the woman we all love, the incomparable Dr. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.[In the following essay, McPherson discusses I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as a record of Angelou's discovery of her own interior world and identity.
We are a tongued folk. A race of singers. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St.
Louis, Maya is attacked by a. Maya Angelou: Poems Maya Angelou A poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou published a number of autobiographies, essay collections, and poetry collections. It is due to her unique ability to reach out to a large subset of Americans with her poetry and prose that she won.
A young, beautiful Maya Angelou with Langston Hughes, not long after her career as a sex worker—guess she didn’t think his joke was that funny? Maya Angelou Essay Examples.
total results. The Life and Works of Maya Angelou. words. 2 pages.
Becoming a Stronger Person in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an Autobiography of Maya Angelou. words. 1 page. The Life of Maya Angelou in the Autobiography "I . Still around today, Maya Angelou is one of the most dominant voices and writers of our time.
She was born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, , in St. Louis, Missouri. As a child, most of her time was spent with her brother, Bailey Johnson, and they were raised by their paternal grandmother, Momma, in Stamps, Arkansas.