First of all, spoiler alert!!..
I just finished reading I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou.
It is Maya Angelou’s biography, and her first book I believe.
Prior to reading this, I had never read any book by her (and I claim that I read books *shameful face*).
I had only read her poems but now, I am on a look out for all her books.
This is not a book review, it is just me gushing about Maya Angelou’s biography because I struck a connection with this book.
This book triggered alot of emotions in me.
It had me crying, laughing, reminiscing, and then some.
I don’t recall ever being this emotionally attached to a book, ever had a book come this alive to me.
Thank God for modern times, I googled earlier pictures of Maya Angelou and her family after reading about two chapters because I wanted to feel more close to the characters.
Yeah, I was that interested.
After I googled, I had their faces encrypted in my mind that I literally kept seeing each character alive, imagining their voices, gestures etc. I enjoyed the book more. I felt like I “knew” everyone in the book, and I was a part of everything that was going on.
So, here’s why I am gushing:..
1. Like I said, this book got me laughing.
We all know Maya had a sense of humour, so ofcourse her book had touches of humour here and there, but just one part cracked me up for about five days.
I was in a taxi and I read about a particular incident where a lady in church got so anointed by the spirit during service that she beat up the preacher and his teeth fell off his mouth.
Maya and her brother, Bailey laughed loudest in the church because this particular preacher always ate the best pieces of chicken whenever he went to their home (which was alot of weekends, and he stayed two days whenever he went).
Their hysteric laughter was only stopped by their irritated uncle who took them out of church and gave them the whipping of their lives.
However, she laughed about it for the next two weeks.
After reading this (it is more funny than I have put it, I promise) I laughed in the taxi, the lady seated next to me kept looking into the book to see what exactly I was laughing at that uncontrollably.
That was a Wednesday, and from then until Sunday, I laughed at even the most remotely funny thing.
2. I was moved to
tears sobs as I read her narration about her rape at just eight years old and the subsequent events after that; the court proceedings, her going mute, failure to trust, physical and emotional turmoil etc.
I have always failed to understand the sick category of men who rape children!.
When I read/ hear of these stories, I just lose it.
No child should be going through that.
After her rape, she buried herself in reading and poetry, and found solace there.
3. Maya Angelou’s history with books got me reminiscing about my own history with books.
She attached so much importance to, and invested so much time in reading books at a very early age.
Even before she was 8, she had read lots of books and spent alot of time at the library.
Her books and her brother were everything to her.
This reminded me of the time I was 9, I used my money meant for break and lunch to register for membership at a public library.
This excited me! I had a whole library of books to read.
My love for books escalated during this time. I borrowed two books every three days because I got through them that fast. How I miss those days!.
4. Her struggle for acceptance was heartbreaking.
At some point in her life, she had to move from the Stamps where she lived with her grandmother, to St Louis to live with her mother.
Carlifonia was mainly dominated by white people, and growing up during the time when racism was all over the place, it was not easy for her to fit into school, make friends, etc, also, she didn’t feel like she belonged even in her family. She looked different, felt different, thought different, acted different.
Again, through this, books and poetry saw her through.
5. I totally envy the relationship she had with her brother especially when they were younger.
So much love, togetherness, and honesty between them.
Her brother was her best friend, confidant, adviser, partner in crime etc.
They had such a strong bond that I envy so much because once upon a time, I had that same kind of relationship with my brother.
6. Her grandmother, despite having enough money to have them live a more than comfortable life, instead taught them respect, humility, gratitude in whatever circumstance one finds themselves in and most importantly, survival skills.
Her narrations about survival just remind me of all our survival skills in Africa.
From mending spoilt shoes instead of throwing them, to mending torn clothes, to just improvising for alot of things instead of spending money on them.
I love her grandmother, God bless her soul.
The narrations about her remind me of the African-American old women in the movies.
Okay, I am done gushing. To all those who haven’t read this book yet, sorry for spoiling it.
I still recommend you to read it. Theres so so much more than I have written.
Here’s to a great woman, whose books I wish I had appreciated earlier.🍸🍸
Have you read this book and did you love it?
Which is your favorite book by Maya Angelou?
Have a good night!