Black America’s Progession (1980s-1990s)

      Comments Off on Black America’s Progession (1980s-1990s)

Maya Angelou’s Poem Caged Bird is a direct symbol of Black people in the 20th century. She starts off by describing the ways a free bird acts, when alive. She transitions to discussing how a caged bird is very cautious and examines its cage. As she describes a free and caged bird throughout the poem, the reader becomes sympathetic for the caged bird. The free bird is capable of claiming things, such as the sky, and navigating through life with ease. The caged bird is tied up and restricted from a lot of things. This poem is a very strong poem because the caged bird symbolizes a black man, a black woman, or even black children. They are caged birds because as Angelou discusses, Blacks aren’t capable of being free, but they seek freedom. Singing can also represent their navigation through society because she states, “the caged bird sings with a fearful trill.” Just as Blacks navigate in a white supremacist dominated society. They are unable to be vocal and they especially feel restricted due to 20th century laws such as Separate but Equal. This poem relates back to Black Women’s Cultural and Artistic Critique on America because Angelou utilized her poem as a way to speak for the unheard voices of Black Americans who suffered in silence from slavery, discrimination, and unequal opportunities.