ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Maya Angelou, Caged Bird Sings

Updated on June 19, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

My Character Design


Maya Angelou, A National Treasure

When I woke up this morning and heard that Maya Angelou passed away, I was so saddened. She was an incredible woman, author, activist, poet, and actress. I remember seeing her on the Cosby Show, and Touched by An Angel, among other guest appearances. Sadly I must admit, I didn't read anything by her until just a couple months ago. After I got my Kindle I decided lots of books that I had always wanted to read were now affordable and storable. Since we moved to this little apartment, I have been downsizing all books, but the Kindle has made owning books reasonable again. That's why I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was on my list of books I always wanted to read but never got around to.

A Little Girl in the South

The story follows a little girl through the discovery of her world, her own body, her ethnicity, her desire for love, and the horrors and childhood trauma of pedophilia and rape. I knew there were some strong issues in the book before I bought it, but the way she wrote about it and handled it brought you into the mind of the child traumatized by an event that would break most people. And she was made to handle it without the kind of therapy that is available today. I was deeply moved by her resolve, her strength of character, and her ability to put the pieces of her life back together again. She had literature and her writings to help her. She had her loving grandmother and her brother to stand by her. But she faced the continued prejudice and race hatred of that deep south mentality.


Words are Things

Raising a Granddaughter

In the story, she is living with her grandmother because her parents are divorced. She lives for a short time with her mother, where the rape occurs and spends some time with her father, which wasn't ideal either. I must admit, I am a sheltered white woman, who can only imagine the hardships and injustices that black people had to and have to endure in the south. When her grandmother was forced to take her up the stairs to back entrance of a dentist's office to beg for help with her granddaughter's tooth pain, by heart broke. She humbled her self in front of that arrogant white b*****d for the sake of her granddaughter. I'm sure I would have done the same. Wouldn't any parent? But when he turned her away even after all the things she said she had done for him, like her, I was mad. And when the grandmother went back up the stairs and marched into the place without even knocking to tell that man off, I was so with her. What I can never comprehend is that by doing that, she was literally putting herself and her family at risk of retaliation from the white folks who run things. Gratefully, retaliation didn't come because the grandmother held such a reputation in the town. But I wanted that dentist to get some of his own. Those poor dears were made to endure an hour-long bus ride into another town where there was a "colored dentist" that could see the girl.


Sheltered in California

In my ignorance and sheltered California life, I can't imagine. I can only read about such atrocities and wonder how we let such things happen. How could the world be such a cold and calloused place that such horrors are allowed to happen to people just because of the hue of their skin? Have we changed? Have we gotten better? Are we now a nation where those kinds of things don't happen anymore? Did Maya Angelou leave a better place than she grew up in? I would love to say, yes. But the real truth is that a country or people who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I'm afraid that is where we stand.

Do you think the world/United States is racially a better place than it was 50 years ago?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)