Language, Literature and Culture  
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‘Pandemic of Racism’: A Study of Racial Suppression in Child Psychology in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Language, Literature and Culture
Vol.4 , No. 3, Publication Date: Nov. 8, 2021, Page: 12-19
1600 Views Since November 8, 2021, 412 Downloads Since Nov. 8, 2021

Ridah Shamshad, Department of English, Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Pakistan.


Hegemonic confinements etiolate a child’s psyche and his abilities of recognizing his true self. Imposition of a foreign culture eradicates the aboriginal true traditions of a society perplexing a child between two cultures. African American discourse in the light of Maya Angelou’s autobiographical narrative I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings cultivates Negro child’s psychological fixations and their representations of their self. The text cogitates a panacea for an opulent exploration of black gender conflicts among the young generation and their appeal to adopt the dominating culture. This study provides ample evidence of the influencing agents that work behind the neocolonialists to help a conformation of the blacks to their pre-conceived image of a subordinate servant. Highlighting Angelou’s real life suffering as a young girl, the present study adheres to culminate a child’s experience as a young developing juvenile child in the context of a recent (25th May, 2020) killing of a Black Afro-American named George Floyd, a 46 years old Black American was brutally killed by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer who kept his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. The study prepends racial and ethnic efferent forces working behind the victimization of Black adolescent generation and the still continuing struggle of the Afro-Americans to assert their identity.


Race, Children, Imperialism, Marginalization, George Floyd


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