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A Phenominal Women Harmonically Sound

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Laura Silva-Montalvo

Professor Dolce

English 205

12 July 2017

I am Women Hear Me Roar

        Maya Angelou, one of the most influential voices of our time. As a strong “phenomenal women” she was a gift to the world. Ever so eloquently the use of her words in her poem “Phenomenal Women” flowed as words to a song (Angelou). Stanza by stanza, line by line, word for word, she became the voice for those who needed reassurance that they too are phenomenal. Maya, confidently declares through her poem that “female beauty and confidence is both individual and universal” (Constantakis, par. 2). She replies to the questions all women ask themselves in the mirror daily: am I too fat? Am I too skinny? Am I pretty? Am I good enough? with strong and self-assuring confidence that we are more than enough. Despite her disturbed childhood, a victim of rape and the poor life decisions along the way, she thrived and still succeeded in becoming a voice of empowerment.

        A speaker of taboo, Maya published the book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1970, which received international praise but was banned in schools due to her speaking openly about her abused past. Around the age of seven, the unspeakable horror happened where she refused to speak for five years after speaking the name of her abuser who turned up dead shortly after. She felt that her voice lent way to tragedy and spent those years as a mute. Once the pain subsided, her voice outpoured with words of greatness. Not only did she make literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller as an African-American woman, but she was also a superior woman of many traits: a writer, dancer, actor, civil rights activist and the first black female cable car conductor. As writer Constantakis states her poem focuses on “positive self-image” which the poem reflects her way of life (Constantakis, par. 2).

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