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Maya Angelou was a difficult artist to dismiss. Her contributions to the world as an artist and poet were enormous. After receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2011, she piqued my interest (Biography.com). But it was her prolific contributions to the arts as a poet, author, historian, dancer, singer, lecturer, educator, producer, actress, songwriter, playwright, and journalist that endeared her to me. Maya piqued my interest more than other artists because of her constant promotion of African American culture, not only in her literary works and performances, but also in her everyday life. This is possible because most artists' effects on the living are often felt long after the artist's death (Biography.com). However, what really endeared her to me were her prolific contributions to the arts through her devotion as a poet, author, historian, dancer, singer, lecturer, educator, producer, actress, songwriter, playwright, and journalist. In comparison to other artists, Maya interested me more due to her unceasing promotion of African American culture not only in her literary works and performances but also in real life. This is possible since the impacts of most artists to the living are often felt after the artists’ demise (Biography.com). However, Maya Angelou engaged with her audience before and after her death. Even before the artist became famous, she was still engaged in her cause of promoting African American heritage as was the case when she, at Martin Luther King’s request, coordinated the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
In particular, her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was of special appeal to me. In the book, Maya describes her childhood down south in segregated Arkansas. Specifically, she describes the distorted self-image that she had derived from the incessantly racist region. Moreover, the author narrates how she and her brother faired after the death of their father and the harsh realities of physical and cultural displacement that led them to live with their grandmother (Angelou 39). After moving again to St Louis to live with her mother, the author recounts the unfortunate sexual molestation that she suffered at the hands of her stepfather. However, even with the traumatic nature of her childhood, the author came to redefine herself as a strong African American woman. Therefore, the idea of embracing the positive in the face of adversity, as the author did, will always stay with me.
The Works Cited page in every paper is an important facet of research. Writers apply that page for a variety of reasons. First, the page helps build writer’s credibility by showing that he or she performed extensive research on the topic. This is crucial as it also enhances the reputation of the writer among his or her peers (McMillan and Schumacher 12). Moreover, blind reviews of a writer’s work may simply consider the merit of the cited sources. The other reason for the page is that it is important for fact-checking. It takes place primarily because accuracy is a crucial factor in almost all writing forms. By citing the work, writers give the reader a chance to confirm that the attribution to the quoted text or paraphrased passage is indeed as the former author willed it to be. Moreover, it can introduce the reader to a broader take on the issue in the discussion for further comprehension. Writers also use the works cited page to improve their research skills. This is possible since it involved the payment of attention to details. More to that, since research involves the discernment of patterns and the making of connections inherent in research sources, citing the works provides writers an efficient avenue for practicing this art by ensuring that connections are made between their work and their sources. In addition to that, the constant citing of works ensures that good research habits are instilled in them not only in their attribution but also in other research areas as well such as searching for the material to cite.
Angelou, Maya. I know Why The Caged Bird Sings. New York: Bantam, 1997.
Biography.com. "Maya Angelou". 30 August 2017. biography.com/people/maya-angelou-9185388 Accessed December 10, 2017.
McMillan, James H. and Sally Schumacher. Research In Education: A Conceptual Introduction. Massachusetts: Little, Brown and Company, 1984.
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