A look at the autobiography of this famous African-American poet and writer.
The life and times of Angelou are described in her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” It describes her very difficult childhood and youth where she was abused physically and mentally, lived as a homeless person and was a teenage mother. It also describes how she finally found her niche and became a successful writer and poet for black civil rights causes.
“In her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she chronicles her early life, a life full of events that would have broken many people. After her parents divorced, she was sent away from her home in California, at the age of three, with only her four-year-old brother for companionship. They had to travel by themselves to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother. She was variously shipped off to her mother (in two separate locations), her father and other relatives. One of her mother’s friends repeatedly molested and then raped her by the age of eight, in an attack severe enough to put her in the hospital. After he was tried and found guilty but given a very light sentence, he was found brutally beaten to death. This caused Maya to remain largely mute for some years after.”