Blackout Poem – “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Freedom is a basic human right that many people now and in history once lacked. The poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou shows readers the difference between how one who is free acts verse one who is restricted. She was able to show the audience the emotion exhaustion of people who are not free. The denotative meaning of this would be about comparing two birds together, one trapped in a bird cage, the other free and able to do whatever they want. The true connotative meaning is talking about systematic oppression and racism black people were forced to struggle with for over 100 years. The free bird speaking about those who are white having no restriction and feeling entitled to things that are not theirs. Then it begins to tell readers about a caged bird representing black people, how they are restricted, ignored, their voices are heard but never valued enough to care, and how they cannot achieve the things they want to due to the racism they support. In my Blackout poem, which was inspired by “I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings,” I had the words “segregation” and “two races” repeated to emphasize racism. The cage represents America and how horribly they make black people feel trapped with no voice. The bird in the cage black people, it is coloured in as Aqua due to the association of the colour meaning emotional healing and protection. Black people still to this day are suffering due to systematic oppression but are trying to heal from this pain. Freedom is something that black people lacked throughout history and the poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou tells readers how this systematic oppression is mentally exhausting and harming the black community.