Saturday, May 31, 2014

"I Know Why The Caged Bird has STOPPED SINGING"

                  ~America loss a good Soul May 28,2014~

...AND,from that one sentence_"what I've learned"...has been one of the most meaningful lessons in MY Life. 

I read "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"in the late 60's. Subsequently,her writings,essays,poems,etc have been a part of my reading list for many years.I was sadden by her demise. But realize...Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, A Time for Everything.

                 Maya as a Dancer & Singer 1951-1961 
Angelou's first album, Miss Calypso, produced in 1957, was made possible due to the popularity of her nightclub act.

                                       1st Edition..1969 
The title of the book comes from the third stanza of the poem "Sympathy" by  Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet..The "caged bird", a symbol for the chained  Slave is an image Angelou uses throughout all her writings.
                          Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906

~Sympathy~ 3rd stanza
know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings –
I know why the caged bird sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of  Writer and Poet Maya Angelou.The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma..The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps,Arkansas,to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of  Caged Bird,Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.


A made-for-TV movie version of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was filmed in Vicksburg,Mississippi and aired on April 28, 1979 on CBS.Angelou and Leonora Thuna wrote the screenplay; the movie was directed by Fielder Cook. Constance Good played young Maya. Also appearing were actors Esther Rolle,Roger E.Mosley,Diahann Carroll,Ruby Dee,and Madge Sinclair.Two scenes in the movie differed from events described in the book. Angelou added a scene between Maya and Uncle Willie after the Joe Louis fight; in it, he expresses his feelings of redemption after Louis defeats a white opponent. Angelou also presents her eighth grade graduation differently in the film. In the book, Henry Reed delivers the valedictory speech and leads the Black audience in the Negro National Anthem. In the movie, Maya conducts these activities.

Of Note: Caged Bird has been on numerous "List of Censored Books".Parents and schools have objected to the book's depictions of lesbianism, premarital cohabitation, pornography, and violence. Some have been critical of its sexually explicit scenes, use of language, and irreverent religious depictions.. 

"one of the ten books most frequently banned from high school and junior high school libraries and classrooms".

With the passing of Maya_we are blessed to have her many works to reflect upon,learn from & engage our sensibilities,any time we wish! Indeed,The Caged Bird has stopped Singing_but her works Live on.

NOTE: to leave Condolences click here_

On another thought_I am grateful that we have Un-Caged Birds that sing into the Midnight Hour  & early morning here at Aaron's Hilltop Farm.But of course...they are the ubiquitous "Mockingbird"_the most vocal of all birds....especially when there is a full moon. The exact connection is not known for sure, but the moon’s reflected light is known to set other animals into “song” .Just in case,you need a reminder of how they sound....

* That reminds me of yet another great book_"To Kill A Mockingbird".Which means.....well,that's another Blog post! 

Upcoming on PBS....

              Meantime....R.I.P.~Maya Angelou~
                      She & Oprah could pass for Relatives!

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