Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS- A book review



There was once upon a time when people were treated unequally because of their skin color or belief. I believe most countries suffer this type of discrimination before coming to age, one way or the other. Whether from countries in Europe where civil war and anarchy erupted, to the revolution of the “Indios” of the Philippine islands, to the freedom of the slaves in the Americas, inequality became part of a nations history.

One book, written by an inspiring person, all took place during a time when black Americans where addressed as Negroes. A time where race and color dictated your whole person and your whole identity. A time when skin color is tainted by the past, trapped in the present, and held by the future. But amidst these situations and amidst these obstacles the author broke awake from society’s ignorance and bloom through these troubled times. A memoir dedicated to the early years of Maya Angelou in one of her books, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”.

I have always been captivated by stories of people who inspire the present because of their stories of the past. One inspirational story comes from Maya Angelou. This book gives readers a back drop of the past which all took place in Arkansas and it’s “powhitetrash” down to the free spirited city of San Francisco in the 60’s. It brings readers to a time when division is visible between the white and black America. A time when a white dentist could not even treat a black girl (Maya) just because of her skin color. A time when white Americans held the countries power and black Americans as their maids and drivers, the best job they can ever get. A time when black Americans struggled to learn and be educated and most of all treated equal. A very different time.

The best thing about the book is Maya’s spirit imprinted on its pages. She is one courageous lady! No wonder she has become one of the most influential and inspirational black American’s with the likes of Martin Luther King.

With that I end this book review with my favorite quote from the book. With Maya’s frustration of society’s ignorance with race:

“It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us.”

A three and half out of five rating.





Maya Angelou



So why do caged bird sing?
Because it longs for it's freedom, as simple as that.


M.


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