Today we have to deal with so many bio-terrorist scares and celebrity break ups, that we can hardly remember a much simpler time. In the words of Avril Lavigne, "Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?" In many ways our years of hardship and intense labor for racial equality has brought fourth a substancial amount of complexities. Although it was one of man's most remarkable leaps forward, it's important to remember that many people lived and died within the unmistakable boundaries of race; these people were staples of our time. In "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," by Maya Angelou, Annie Henderson truly displayed her strengths in a time where we could not seem to see beyond the black and white. She may have come across as a religious elderly woman, but in fact she was capable of guideing others, creating lucrative business oppurtunities, and loving her family with remarkable affection.
Annie embodied leadership and self reverance; two traits most women in Stamps would not choose to posess. Though Annie is subject to white bigotry just like everyone else, she manages to rise above it by maintaining her own dignity. Often some of the powhitetrash children would venture down to the store to mock Momma in malicious acts of discrimination. Annie, however, calmly sat back into her chair and continued on with her daily tasks; unphased by the cruelty. Some might see this as the classic cold-shoulder, but she was actually displaying her morality and maintaining her dignity as a human being. Maya learned much from these interactions. Another time when Maya had aquired a nagging ache in her teeth, Annie took her to a dentist who had owed her a favor. After the dentist had declined Maya as a patient on the basis of her skin, Annie assertively pushed for the appropriate compensation which she deserved. Annie may have lost this battle, but it did more good for Maya's character than that dentist could have ever done on her teeth.