Black Poetry Day: Maya Angelou

[Hannah Myers | Contributing Writer]

The person that jumps to mind, when asked for my favourite black poet, is Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou was an American poet, born in Missouri. By the age of three her parents had divorced and by the age of seven she had been emotionally and sexually abused by her mother’s new boyfriend. Her famous semi-autobiographical novel I Know Why Caged Bird Sings, talks about this troubled childhood. However, Maya Angelou was also a well-loved poet. Through her poetry she is unrivalled in showing the ways that young women, especially black women, are dominated within our patriarchal world.

My favourite poem from Angelou is ‘Caged Bird’ from her collection Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? It really reflects the challenging childhood that she experienced. She is the ‘caged bird’, along with the rest of the black populous, while the white man is wild and free.

Shaker,_Why_Don't_You_Sing.jpg

If you’re looking for a complex, thought-provoking but enjoyable selection of poems; give this collection or any of Angelou’s work a go.

Who are some of your most-loved black poets? Tweet us @TridentMediaUK #BlackPoetryDay

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Black Poetry Day: Maya Angelou