Understanding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents [NOOK Book]

Overview

Maya Angelou's autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was nominated for a National Book Award, yet in 1995 it topped the list of books most frequently challenged in schools and libraries. This interdisciplinary collection of documents and commentary explores the historical and social context, as well as the contemporary issues and controversies, raised by Angelou's autobiography. A rich resource for teachers and students, it will help to enhance the reader's understanding of the historical and social ...
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Understanding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Overview

Maya Angelou's autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was nominated for a National Book Award, yet in 1995 it topped the list of books most frequently challenged in schools and libraries. This interdisciplinary collection of documents and commentary explores the historical and social context, as well as the contemporary issues and controversies, raised by Angelou's autobiography. A rich resource for teachers and students, it will help to enhance the reader's understanding of the historical and social forces that shaped Maya Angelou's experience - race relations in the pre-civil rights South, segregated schools, the African American church, and the African American family. It also examines the issue of childhood sexual abuse, the inclusion of which has been the basis of most of the challenges to the autobiography, and the issue of the work's censorship since its publication.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Melissa Thacker
Two Greenwood series titles provide excellent literary critiques of Angelou's work. In the Literature in Context series, Megna Wallace does an admirable job of putting Angelou's first autobiography in historical context, using the socio-political atmosphere surrounding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as a means of explaining Angelou's and others' actions as characters in the book. Megna-Wallace discusses violence and racism, segregated school, the African American Church, African American families, child sexual abuse, and censorship in relation to Angelou's book. Additionally, she includes excerpts from important books, articles, and studies discussing these topics. While Megna-Wallace primarily focuses on Caged Bird, Lupton looks at all five of Angelou's autobiographies in her entry in the Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers series. She puts Angelou's work in literary context, not historical. She gives a brief overview of Angelou's life and the art of autobiography. Then she discusses each of Angelou's books looking at narrative point of view, structure, plot development, character development, setting, themes, style and literary devices, and critical reading. Lupton discusses Angelou's books in relation to each other and to other writers, both black and white. Both books are well written and beneficial, but Lupton's is more helpful for students. Megna-Wallace's book, with its in-depth historical overview, is almost too much for high school students wanting to find quick sources of criticism. Only the most dedicated, self-motivated students will be interested. It lends itself better to teachers as each chapter includes study questions and "topics for written or oral explanation." Students will find Maya Angelou invaluable with its clear headings breaking down the stories to their various parts. It is also a good introduction to literary criticism. Lupton writes clearly, illustrating good criticism and explaining literary terms as she goes along. In one of my favorite sections, Lupton looks at each autobiography using a different form of criticism. She uses feminist criticism with Caged Bird, deconstructionism for Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas, Freudian criticism for The Heart of a Woman, and so on. Students of Angelou's autobiographical work will find much enlightenment here. Both books are excellent for what they do, but if you have to make a choice, Maya Angelou: A Critical Companion is the more practical. Note: This review was written and published to address Understanding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Understanding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Index. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOANNE MEGNA-WALLACE is Professor of Humanities at Bradford College in Bradford, Massachusetts, where she teaches French and women's literature.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 The Journey to Maturity and Self-Esteem: A Literary Analysis of Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 1
2 Violence and Intimidation as a Means of Social Control: A Historical Overview of Race Relations in the South 15
"The Dynamics of Black and White Violence" (1969) 20
The Mob Still Rides: A Review of the Lynching Record, 1931-1935 (1936) 26
"Young Negro Lynched at Lepanto," (1936) 29
"Negro Lynched by Mob at Crossett," (1932) 30
"Tech 'Er Off, Charlie," (1978) 34
3 Segregated Schools: An Institutional Method of Social Control 43
National Survey of the Higher Education of Negroes (1942) 46
Growing Up in the Black Belt (1941) 48
"The Public School System of Arkansas" (1923) 54
County Training Schools and Public Secondary Education for Negroes in the South (1935) 67
Growing Up in the Black Belt (1941) 77
4 The African American Church 87
Foreword to Dark Glory (1947) 88
Growing Up in the Black Belt (1941) 91
These My Brethren: A Study of 570 Negro Churches and 1542 Negro Homes in the Rural South (1950) 99
The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation (1972) 103
Religious Bodies: 1936 (1941) 105
5 The African American Family and Other Role Models 117
The Mark of Oppression: Explorations in the Personality of the American Negro (1951) 121
"Thousands in Harlem Celebrate Louis Victory," New York Times (1935) 124
Negro-White Differences in Geographic Mobility (1964) 126
6 Child Sexual Abuse 133
Child Sexual Abuse: Incest, Assault and Sexual Exploitation (1981) 135
7 Censorship 145
Attacks on the Freedom to Learn: 1996 Report (1996) 147
Banned Books Week Resource Guide, 1997 (1997) 150
Attacks on the Freedom to Learn: 1996 Report (1996) 152
The Decatur [Alabama] Daily (1995-1996) 157
Bibliographic Essay 177
Chronology of Maya Angelou's Career 181
Index 185
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2011

    ridiculous

    52 bucks for an ebook? Thats terrible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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