136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A brilliant book, 14 Dec. 2004
I had to read this book for a school project and at first I thought that reading the autobiography of someone that I'd never heard of would be slightly pointless. However, as we began to read the book, I discovered that previous knowledge of the author was not necessary to read and relate to this fantastically written and deeply emotional story.
Although, at times, the story (and Angelou's life) is traumatic and stressful, much of it is based on the ongoing theme of how she (and the people around her) can overcome the prejudice, hatred and lack of power that is forced upon them by the white people in their community. Angelou describes how she defeats the whites in her own personal ways, such as managing to become the first black person to work on the San Francisco streetcars.
Many people would find inspiration in this story of a child who, growing up in unfortunate and tragic circumstances, manages to overcome the racism and loathing thrown at her by not only the whites, but the other characters, such as her mother's partner, Mr Freeman, and her father's girlfriend, Dolores.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially those interested in American history, or the history of racism.
Maya's story is one of success and triumph through some of the most difficult situations that life could through at you.