Discrimination In Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

1985 Words 8 Pages
In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou explains an African American girl’s perspective and beliefs. The novel begins with the author as a child, becoming a teen, and then reaching her young adult life. Influenced by the Civil Rights Movement of her own time period, Angelou makes clear all rights of an individual should be equal. Angelou struggles with personal tragedies, which include her parent’s separating, being raped by her stepdad, and the constant feeling of separation because of her skin color. Angelou experiences an emotion of guilt, while feeling a sense of invasion, then learns her true sense of self. She realizes through the power of words and a positive perspective, she has the ability to influence others while showing them …show more content…
One example Angelou’s graduation which shows many forms of discrimination. Angelou even though African American, graduates top of her class. A speech is presented that downgrades African Americans along with putting whites above society. A classmate of Angelou 's, Henry Reed ends the graduation with praising blacks by singing "I Lift Every Voice and Sing" referring to African American poets. Much discrimination is shown throughout education in Angelou 's childhood growing up from a young African American girl’s perspective (Angelou 16). Another example is when Angelou understands compassion and true victory because of her momma. In the "powhitetrash" scene, she realizes that arguing back solves nothing and she learns to separate herself from stereotypical thoughts of whites and blacks (Walker 172-174). Angelou also experiences discrimination because of her attempt to go to a white dentist. In the white dentist scene, the white dentist would not take her because of a policy against African Americans. Angelou is surrounded by division against African Americans and in this situation momma ends up getting payment from the white dentist to go to another dentist who allows African American patients (Angelou 181-186). Angelou 's life is never complete because she is always moving to different towns. Another example is when Angelou moves in with Daddy Clidell, Angelou has to attend the white school on the white …show more content…
Angelou experiences the start of World War II and African Americans begin to take over Japanese shops. The Japanese began to disappear from San Francisco. Angelou experiences weekly air raid warnings and civil defense drills in school in fear of San Francisco being bombed. Racism is still reoccurring throughout World War II. b. The Ku Klux Klan is a group against African Americans and lynching’s are acts of murder which occur throughout the south during the time of racial division (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” 315). Angelou sees division presented personally when she is on a bus and a white women would not sit next to a black man on the bus even though he made room for her (Angelou 205-210). Angelou experiences part of the depression and is introduced to more struggles leading to full adulthood (Moss and Wilson

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