Maya Angelou

by Mayandra from San Diego

"How important is it for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" (Maya Angelou)
Young Maya Angelou ( https:/.../hw-black-history-month-maya-angelou/)
Young Maya Angelou ( https:/.../hw-black-history-month-maya-angelou/)

“I know why the caged bird sings” (Maya Angelou). It sings because a hero has freed it from the close-minded people of the world. Many people have the wrong idea about heroes. A hero is not a celebrity who does not learn from their own flaws; nor is it some comic hero in a movie. A hero is someone who shares their knowledge and experiences with others. They have respect for others, and their actions and words shed light into people’s lives. Through her words, poet Maya Angelou sheds light into people’s lives. Born as Marguerite Jonson in Missouri of 1928, Angelou suffered a harsh childhood. She was molested by her mother’s boyfriend; when she told her uncles they beat him to death! Angelou believes that he would still be alive if it was not for her words, so she decided to stop talking until the age of fifteen. “I had a voice, but I refused to use it: (Maya Angelou). When Maya Angelou left home, with her newborn son, she married a Greek sailor by the name of Angelou. Sadly, their marriage did not last very long. Later on in life, Maya Angelou discovered the affect words have on others. Throughout her troubles, Angelou never let her troubles stop her. Through her words, Maya Angelou shows she is a hero.

Maya Angelou (
Maya Angelou (

“There is a fine line between loving life, and being greedy for it” (Maya Angelou). You need to know when loving life to the fullest is all you need. It takes a person with great wisdom to know when enough is enough. Maya Angelou understands that you should not take life for granted; these experiences make her wise. As a child, she would hear others complain about nonsense, while she went through abuse herself. People would say they have pity on those that go through tragedies; Maya Angelou noticed that people really did not understand what it takes to go through those types of problems. Angelou wrote about her story, and showed others what everyday life for a person with problems was like; she was also able to help all those who did not know how to get help. Maya Angelou got that life is not always a "crystal stair" as Langston Hugh said in his poem “Mother to Son”, there will be times when the life takes a turn for the worst. Angelou’s words of wisdom gave people hope. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (Maya Angelou). In Hindu, “Maya” means mother; Maya Angelou is a mother to those who use her words for comfort. She uses her poems to convey messages of wisdom to help others feel reassured. Maya knows what people need to hear, because she needed it herself.

Maya Angelou making a speech (
Maya Angelou making a speech (

When we do not have respect for others, we allow our worst side to take over. “We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders” (Maya Angelou). Everyone on this planet is part of the human race. On her quest to make a difference in the world, Maya Angelou teaches people to respect others. She explains that if we have respect for others, social barriers could be broken. People would not have to worry about racism, sexism, and discrimination between different cultures. “Perhaps travel can not prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends” (Maya Angelou). Angelou says that if people around the world just take a look around them everyone is the same. If we could just respect others around us, there would be no need to bear arms, or start wars. She conveys that respect cannot only make peace, but we can make friendships that can last a lifetime.

Because she realized the affect words have on people, Maya Angelou is able to spread her wisdom and share the benefits of respect with others. Angelou is not only a hero, but an inspiration to all who seek change. She inspires others because she could have let her experiences take over her life, but instead she came out on top. Heroes help others and show respect. A hero shares their wisdom with the people around them. Maya Angelou was once a caged bird, but now she flies free to help others. Maya Angelou is a hero.

Works Consulted

Angelou, Maya." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. Ed. Laura B. Tyle. Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2003. 73-76. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 May 2010.

Wilson, Wendy L. "A Poet's Life in Pictures." Essence Apr. 2010: 148. General Reference Center Gold. Web. 14 May 2010.

Maya Angelou Global Renissance Woman." 2010. Web. 14 May 2010. <>.

Page created on 1/28/2011 1:01:03 PM

Last edited 10/18/2019 2:49:26 PM

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Related Links

Maya Angelou - Maya Angelou official website - About the poets of the world
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