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Every word Angelou wrote was a choice between one language variety or another, and the way in which she decided between them is a significant part of how her words resonate with so many people.Perhaps surprisingly, Angelou was vocal during the Ebonics debate of the 1990s against the celebration of language variation.A successful writer ultimately celebrates the idiolect, the intimate language of the individual and the individual experience. Angelou sounded like my grandmother and all of the Winston-Salem Baptist English educators that I wanted to be as a child. As a daughter of Winston-Salem, in Southern honorific tradition, where attention to titles conveys respect, I would have never dreamed of calling her by her first name. You were quite literally who I wanted to be when I grew up.
His lips pulled not down, like Uncle Willie’s, but to the side, and his head lay on one side or the other, but never straight on the end of his neck. Boy, anybody tell you errer that you er look like me? It would be just my luck that the only one would turn out to be my father.
He had the air of a man who did not believe what he heard or what he himself was saying. Angelou even judges the language of teachers during her stay St. Louis teachers, on the other hand, tended to act very siditty, and talked down to their students from the lofty heights of education and whitefolks’ enunciation.
How does a black American woman literally find her voice?
After being raped by her mother’s boyfriend at the age of 7, Maya Angelou didn’t speak for several years to anyone except her older brother Bailey Johnson.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. In call and response, the audience should be verbally and physically rising with her by the end of the poem like the congregation would in a Southern Black Baptist church at the end of the preacher’s sermon.
comments on the way that Standardized English is used as a way for African-American women to disassociate from their cultural and linguistic heritage.
She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style.
On April 4, 1928, Marguerite Annie Johnson, known to the world as Maya Angelou, was born in St. Due to her parents’ tumultuous marriage and subsequent divorce, Angelou went to live with her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas from an early age.
Examples can be found in African-American speeches by leaders including Martin Luther King Jr., who was a contemporary of Angelou, as well as in spirituals, gospel songs and twelve bar blues. Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.
And finishes with: Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.