Maya Angelou is a writer who has impacted the lives and mindsets of many people. Though some believe her raw literature surrounding rape culture, sexism, and racism is controversial, these topics are important to her and are things that she believes people should become aware of. These topics are so significant and relevant to her as she was a victim to all three. At the age of only eight, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend at the time. At such a young age, a horrific image of men was illustrated to her, and through her poetry she displays this image and her feelings to rape culture as a whole. After the incident, Angelou’s self-confidence was completely diminished and she refused to talk for five years. After these five years, Angelou immersed herself into writing and began to open up in this way. Her writing may seem raw to some, but it was her method of expressing herself after such a terrible time in her life, and for this reason her poetryand books are so special. As a young African-American girl growing up in the south in the decade, not only was racism an issue, but so was sexism. Black people were not granted the same respect as white people, and they were tormented because of it. To make times even more difficult for Angelou, women also were not looked at with the same respect as men and were often mistreated. Angelou’s poems explore these themes and present her first hand experiences as well as the experiences of women and loved ones close to her. To think about the fact that Angelou’s literature is so personal and raw, makes her presence in the many American poets so influential, and so worthwhile to read. Maya Angelou is an American writer who deserves to be recognized despite how controversial.
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