RACISM TOWARDS AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY AS REFLECTED IN MAYA ANGELOU’S I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS: BLACK AESTHETIC CRITICISM

https://doi.org/10.22146/rubikon.v8i2.69687

Gisa Maya Saputri(1*)

(1) 
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


The study of the African American community always circulates among the issues of race, racism, discrimination, slavery, and oppression. All these issues become the grand themes of African American literature. These literary works could be studied and covered under the scope of Black Aesthetic criticism. One of the prominent works of African American literature is an autobiography of Maya Angelou entitled I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This autobiography portrays Angelou’s childhood experiences which brings up the issues of race, racism, and oppression. This paper aims to analyze the kinds of racism experienced by the African American community and their struggle against it as depicted in the book. To provide a thorough discussion of the matter, critical race theory was employed as the method of analysis. The result is drawn based on the basic tenets of critical race theory proposed by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (2001); everyday racism, interest convergence, the social construction of race, differential realization, intersectionality, and voice of Color. The findings show the struggle of African American community against racism which are expressed through the act of ignorance, promoting intelligence, communal efforts, resistance, promoting social movement, and stepping forward to voice their experience through African American literature.


Keywords


Black Aesthetic criticism; race; racism; Maya Angelou; critical race theory

Full Text:

PDF


References

Angelou, M. (1969). I know why the caged bird sings. Bantam Books.

Bauer, P., & Wightman, J. (2020). I know why the caged bird sings | Summary & facts. https://www.britannica.com/topic/I-Know-Why-the-Caged-Bird-Sings

Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Routledge.

Crenshaw, K. W. (1989). Demarginalising the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of anti-discrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and anti-racist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139–167. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315582924-10

Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An Introduction. New York University Press. https://doi.org/10.1080/10714413.2012.735558

Guess, T. J. (2006). The social construction of whiteness: Racism by intent, racism by consequence. Critical Sociology, 32(4), 649–673. https://doi.org/10.1163/156916306779155199

Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11(1), 7–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/095183998236863

Lanzendorfer, J. (2017). 11 Facts about “I know why the caged bird sings”. Mental floss. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75541/11-facts-about-i-know-why-caged-bird-sings

Leitch, V. B. (2010). American literary criticism since the 1930s (Second ed.). Routledge.

McConahay, J. B., Hardee, B. B., & Batts, V. (1981). Has racism declined in America? Journal of conflict resolution, 25(4), 563–579. https://doi.org/10.1177/002200278102500401

Pilgrim, D. (2000). The Brute Caricature - Jim Crow Museum - Ferris State University. https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/brute/

Sayej, N. (2019). Black is beautiful: Celebrating the significance of Kwame Brathwaite. The guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/mar/26/kwame-brathwaite-photographer-black-is-beautiful

Sethi, A. (2013). I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou - Review. The guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/18/maya-angelou-caged-bird-review

Sniderman, P. M., Piazza, T., Tetlock, P. E., & Kendrick, A. (1991). The new racism. American journal of political science, 35(2), 423. https://doi.org/10.2307/2111369

Taylor, P. (2010). Black aesthetics. Philosophy compass, 5(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-9991.2009.00263.x

Tidwell, B. J. (1990). The price: A study of the costs of racism in America. National Urban League, Inc.,

Tyson, L. (2006). Critical theory today: A user-friendly guide (Second ed.). Routledge.

Wellek, R., & Warren, A. (1954). Theory of literature (Third ed.). Jonathan Cape.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/rubikon.v8i2.69687

Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1463 | views : 1826

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Indexed by

 Sinta Kemdikbud  Garuda logo  Crossref logo  Google Scholar logo  OAI logo  Dimensions logo     JournalStories Main logo

 

View My Stats

 

ISSN & E-ISSN