Maya Angelou was an author that I always knew I should read. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings exceeded every expectation I brought to it. Angelou’s words enveloped me and transported me. I read the book in three days, unable to put it down for too long.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is Angelou’s memoir of her early years—from four to sixteen. She explores issues of race, poverty, segregation, rape, and coming-of-age in the midst of everything. She doesn’t shy away from painful or traumatic experiences, but lifts the veil on things hidden. One of the best lines is at the very beginning: “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.” Angelou shows us the rust on the razor and lets us feel its edge.
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