Written by one of America’s most critically acclaimed authors and poets, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings remains one of the most widely read works in academic settings. In this autobiographical work, Angelou critiques racism and discusses dignity, independence and family — oftentimes, in metaphorical form. Although criticized and banned in some localities for its graphic depictions, this profound work continues to be a bestseller and an extremely important literary gem.
Writer and African American activist Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her five autobiographical novels were met with critical and popular success. Her volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008, she earned a NAACP Award. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." – Maya Angelou