Essay on I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou

1095 Words Jul 26th, 2016 null Page
“I’d rather stick my hands in a dog’s mouth than in a nigger’s,” (Angelou 186). In the autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Marguerite, Maya’s real name, is often told that because of her race, she is worthless. Angelou experiences racism and oppression throughout the novel extensively, but after analyzing it through a postcolonial lens, it becomes clear that race and the oppression one faces does not have to stop them from thriving. Despite what one is told throughout life, one may still become intelligent and successful, as demonstrated through a number of characters in the novel.
To start, numerous characters show that one can be intelligent regardless of race. In the autobiography, Marguerite exceeds expectations of the average young black female, but because of her race many assume she is not bright. At her eighth grade graduation, a white speaker praises about various accomplishments of white children and only mentions the athletic accomplishments of the black children hinting that is all the black community is good for (176), but this does not stop Marguerite from learning. When she moves to San Francisco, where she went to school with the ‘smart white children’, Marguerite is a grade ahead (260) and accepts a scholarship at a college at the age of fourteen and another at fifteen (213). About half of the Caucasians did not finish high school in the 1940s (IMPUS) let alone receive scholarships, thus showing the readers that it is possible for…

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