Analysis of "Still I Rise"

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Submitted By abrigg6
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Analysis of "Still I Rise"
Initial Thoughts
I have always enjoyed Maya Angelou's poetry. After reading "Still I Rise" I have a feeling of joy and pride. I picture the struggles she must have gone thru throughout her life. I imagine the pain and hurt she has endured and yet she is still a confident, secure, black woman. I feel as though she is taunting and chastising those that have ridiculed her: "Does my sassiness upset you?," "Does my haughtiness offend you?," and "Does my sexiness offend you?". I picture her speaking these words to those that have hindered her with a smile on her face, filled with confidence. I rejoice in her strength. I applaud her for standing up for herself and others that have gone thru the same suffering. I love how she states an insult that she has received and comes back with self assurance and a relentless stance: "still I'll rise." The wittiness is comical and clever: "'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room," "'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard," and " That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?"
Historical Context
Angelou, a Postmodernism poet, wrote "Still I Rise" in 1978. Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928 as Marguerite Johnson (Biography.com). Angelou grew up during an age with racial prejudice and gender inequality in the United States. African Americans did not get the right to vote until 1965. Even to this day, there are still racial tensions in the United States, particularly in the southern states.
Biographical Context
According to Current Biography Obituaries, Angelo lived with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas from the age of three to seven. There, she experienced racial discrimination. She then moved to St. Louis, Missouri at the age of seven to live with her mother where she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. The…...

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