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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou


This is Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings published 1969 by Random House. The book follows Marguerite's (called "My" or "Maya" by her brother) life from the age of three to seventeen and the struggles she faces – particularly with racism – in the Southern United States. Abandoned by their parents, Maya and her older brother Bailey are sent to live with their paternal grandmother (Momma) and disabled uncle (Uncle Willie) in Stamps, Arkansas. Maya and Bailey are haunted by their parents' abandonment throughout the book – they travel alone and are labeled like baggage. This is the first of her autobiographical books. Angelou structures her book so that it presents a series of lessons about how to resist racism and oppression.

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