In Maya Angelou's first mind provoking biography, she opens the doors of African-Americans and women. She releases them into the world of her privations and gives them insight and triumph by illuminating and exploring the triumphs and defeat in her life, one of the most soul shattering is her rape and her trials to over come the rape and her struggle with being black. Maya's life was filled with prejudice, for being a black woman. She was prosecuted by other people, but mainly herself. Being a woman is challenge itself with male domination being so prominent, but being also being a part of the African American decent, one of the most discriminated and prosecuted of races in addition to being a woman, is an arduous life to lead. Maya's hardships and tribulations surpass these "obstructions"" and exhibits even in the most difficult situations a strong soul can over come anything. Maya's inspirations and epiphanies gives hope and triumph to woman and African Americans, which shows that someone can defeat any challenge in the path to righteousness.
In Maya's biography, she writes of her fears and challenges and difficulties. Some of them can be compared to the hardships people face today. The idea of prejudice against blacks and women is still prevalent in today's age, even though her main prejudices took place in the "50's: "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult." (pg. 6) This quote stipulates just the simplicity in the fact that she, being an African American girl is on the bottom of the social totem pole regardless if she knows it or not and it is an unfair bias. But being aware of being southern black girl and actually being ostracized is the painful reality. .
Growing up in a small Arkansas town called stamps. Maya was used to the segregation and grew up with the belief that her race was on a lower social status then the whites.