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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 Author: Maya Angelou  Category: Autobiography  Published: January 1, 1969  Language: English  File Size: 1.5 MB  Tags: African AmericanautobiographyBiographyClassicsFeminismMemoirNonfictionpoetryRace |  Download PDF

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, the book chronicles her life from age 3 through age 16, recounting an unsettled and sometimes traumatic childhood that included rape and racism. It became one of the most widely read and taught books written by an African American woman.

The poem conveys a message of hope and of the power of self-expression – the caged bird’s tune of freedom is heard “on the distant hill,” so his tune is powerful enough to be heard in the distance. His singing leads others to hear and acknowledge his sorrow and longing for freedom.

Maya Angelou’s ‘Caged Bird’ is a protest poem that voices out the inequality between black and white Americans. It illustrates the oppression of the Blacks in contrast with the freedom of the Whites during Segregation in American history.