Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise" is about the humiliation that blacks have felt as a result of racism and oppression over the past centuries, calling them to stand up for themselves with pride and dignity. The speaker's refusal to give in to the lies of history, and succeed in spite of all of the false beliefs that others have, brings a powerful message.
The imagery in the poem makes it clear that this is a work about the experiences blacks have suffered as a result of latent racism. Whether it is the "huts of history's shame" or the "black ocean, leaping and wide," the audience of this speaker is clear. For those who look down on strong black women for not fitting in to expected racial and gender stereotypes, the speaker asks if her "sassiness" is a cause for concern, or if her "haughtiness" is offensive? Her point of view is that she has a mission to bring "the gifts that [her] ancestors gave." As a result, she is "the dream and the hope of the slave." All of those who have fallen victim to the ravages of racism have become part of a legacy that demands the best in terms of dignity from today's generation.Learn More
The mood of "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou is upbeat, optimistic and happy. The mood is celebratory, extolling the virtues and success of a woman with a large body. The large female is identified as the phenomenal woman.Full Answer >
In the movie "Madea's Family Reunion," Maya Angelou's character, May, recites a poem written by Angelou entitled "In and Out of Time." Angelou's appearance in "Madea's Family Reunion" was the last movie she appeared in as an actor before her death in 2014.Full Answer >
Maya Angelou is, among other things, an author, poet and civil rights activist who gained international fame with her book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which was published in 1969. The book was an autobiography recounting Angelou's life experiences until the age of 17. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" made history when it became a bestseller, a first for a female African-American author.Full Answer >
In an interview with the Academy of Achievement, Maya Angelou shared that she wrote "Phenomenal Woman" for women everywhere, saying, "I wrote it for black women, and white women, and Chinese women, and Japanese women, and Jewish women. I wrote it for Native American women, Aleut, Eskimo ladies. I wrote it for all women. Very fat women, very thin, pretty, plain." It was first published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1978.Full Answer >