I’ve been meaning to read some Maya Angelou for a while as I frequently see her poems pop up and think damn, I should read more of this lady! Luckily while I was in an Oxfam bookshop I saw a copy of the first volume of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I bought it, along with a few other books. This made the number of second-hand books I have bought this year slightly ridiculous. I’m not allowed to buy any more books!
Obviously, the book is amazing. Her writing is amazing, she’s amazing.
It is all very well reading history books on what it was like to grow up black in 1930s America, but reading it from someone’s perspective who was actually there and actually lived it felt really valuable and brought it to life in a way that sometimes made me a bit emotional. Why do I keep reading books that make me well up in public places?!
It made me realise that while there is still a long way (a long long long way) to go for equality and getting rid of prejudice, we have also moved very far away from how bad things used to be.