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Examples can be found in African-American speeches by leaders including Martin Luther King Jr., who was a contemporary of Angelou, as well as in spirituals, gospel songs and twelve bar blues. Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.And finishes with: Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Proper English, like the school principal, and even better. Or er I guess I would have er heard about it er from Santa Claus.” A few pages later, Angelou describes: He sounded more like a white man than a Negro.
Our father sprinkled ers and even errers in his sentences as liberally as he gave out his twisted-mouth smiles. Maybe he was the only brown-skinned white man in the world.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. In call and response, the audience should be verbally and physically rising with her by the end of the poem like the congregation would in a Southern Black Baptist church at the end of the preacher’s sermon.
comments on the way that Standardized English is used as a way for African-American women to disassociate from their cultural and linguistic heritage.
The poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who also wrote in both Standardized English and African-American English, was a strong influence on Angelou, and it was at the suggestion of Abby Lincoln Roach that Angelou adopted the name of her first autobiography from the Dunbar poem .
Dunbar writes: I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,– When he beats his bars and he 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!Apostrophes are also used to represent initial syllable absence in Angelou also uses both the language of the Black secular and the Black sacred.Her poems often employ the call and response form, which creates verbal and non-verbal interaction between speaker and listener by punctuating statements or ‘calls’ from the speaker with responses from the listener.She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style.On April 4, 1928, Marguerite Annie Johnson, known to the world as Maya Angelou, was born in St. Due to her parents’ tumultuous marriage and subsequent divorce, Angelou went to live with her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas from an early age.about the language of her father, about his properness and his use of r, which suggests that the use of r was quite absent in the speech of her community: A year later our father came to Stamps without warning….His voice rang like a metal dipper hitting a bucket and he spoke English.Even just in English, she occasionally used eye dialect, that is, alternate spellings that convey a specific pronunciation, so that the dialect strikes the eye through the printed word rather than appealing to the ear through sound or more accurate phonetic representation.When she does use eye dialect, it conveys dialogue in her autobiographies and allows her to take on the roles of characters in her poems.A successful writer ultimately celebrates the idiolect, the intimate language of the individual and the individual experience. Angelou sounded like my grandmother and all of the Winston-Salem Baptist English educators that I wanted to be as a child. As a daughter of Winston-Salem, in Southern honorific tradition, where attention to titles conveys respect, I would have never dreamed of calling her by her first name. You were quite literally who I wanted to be when I grew up.Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar, Maya Angelou is a world-famous author.