Poem, Shaker, Why Don 't You Sing? By Maya Angelou Essay

1317 Words Nov 5th, 2015 6 Pages
Segregation because of race has occurred throughout history. In particular, during the time of the civil rights movement the African- Americans lives were to endure inequalities, discrimination and limited opportunities; they were forced to submit to whites in the era of white supremacy. Maya Angelou encouraged those of her race to stand up and voice their rights and opinions through this poem. Caged bird, a poem written by Maya Angelou was first published in her book, "Shaker, Why Don 't You Sing?" in 1983. The poem is based on the African- American lack of freedom and rights during the civil rights era and compares to those of white people. The entire poem is a metaphor, while she expresses her feelings and opinions in the time of racial discrimination.
The subject matter of the poem compares the life of a caged bird to that of a free bird. It describes the life of a free bird and Maya compared that of a life of oppressed rights and little freedom of the caged bird. The caged bird is singing for the freedom it should have. The bird’s nature which is to fly free and roam has been stolen. The theme demonstrates something deeper than a bird’s life, using the poem as a metaphor to reveal the true theme of the poem. This is, the caged bird is a symbol of the repressed African Americans it also explores African Americans compared to whites amidst the struggle of racism and bigotry. On the other hand the free bird is a symbol of the white community living peacefully and with…

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