Gather Together in Maya's Name. Speaks of the author Maya Angelou and how she allows her followers to witness her metamorphosis through different aspects of motherhood

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By consistently weaving the theme of motherhood into her literature, Maya

Angelou creates both personal narratives and poems that the reader can relate to.

Her exploration of this universal theme lends itself to a very large and diverse

audience. Throughout Angelou's works, she allows her followers to witness her

metamorphosis through different aspects of motherhood.

Well-worked themes are always present in Angelou's works- self-

acceptance, race, men, work, separation, sexuality, and motherhood. However,

Angelou uses the latter to provide 'literary unity' (Lupton 7-8).

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, to

Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson. After three years her parents divorced, and

both Maya and her older brother Bailey, were sent to Stamps, Arkansas. Once in

Stamps, the children were cared for by their paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie

Henderson (Neubauer 21).

In her first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou tells the story

of her childhood.

She also makes the reader keenly aware of her close connection

with her grandmother. Stephen Butterfield says of Caged Bird (in his Black

Autobiography in America, 1974): 'Continuity is achieved by the contact of

mother and child, the sense of life begetting life that happens automatically in spite

of all confusion- perhaps also because of it.'

Annie Henderson is a God-fearing, independent woman whose firm hand

leads Maya throughout many rough spots in her childhood. It is through Mrs.

Henderson's values of self-determination and personal dignity that Maya's idea that

she is 'shit color' slowly fades away (Vermillion 33).

Maya fails to see her grandmother's negative traits. She sees only a woman

that many people, both white and black, respect. The general store that Annie

owns is the center of activity in Stamps. This centralization of the store has a

direct correlation to the way Annie...