Maya Angelou is a well-recognized American author, primarily from the period of the Civil Rights Movement, where she participated as an activist. According to Richard, Angelou was born in 1928 and died in 2004 (84). Throughout she had a long career that included different works from poetry, screenplays for television programs and film, plays, directing acting, as well as public speaking. She is most recognized for her career in poetry, whereby her style of writing was directed to self-empowerment, and to encourage people to rise over all odds and take personal pride of one's identity. Angelou's style of writing shows her honesty, feelings, and emotions about most of the experiences that she went through in her life, as well as the life of the people around her (Richard 84). Angelou's work is well-known around the world because it is usually inspiring. Some of her works such as poems are even considered to be autobiographical kind of poems. The paper presents an analysis of Maya Angelou through researching her cultural context and how it helps readers to understand her work, influences among writers, her writing style applied to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, her theories about literature and writing, and critical reception of the writers work.
Maya Angelou's was an African American, thus shared the totality of meanings, ideas, and beliefs with the black Americans. She also shared the values, norms, and customs of the black Americans. As an African American, Maya experienced racial discrimination in Arkansas. During her childhood, she suffered at the hands of a close family associate, an ordeal that left her traumatized. At the age of 7 Angelou was raped by her mother's boyfriend after her mother had taken her along during a visit. As a way of revenging the sexual offense, Angelou's uncles who in this case were the brothers to her mother killed the boyfriend (Lupton 24). Angelou was traumatized by the whole experience that she stopped talking and she spent five years as a virtual mute.