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Word Count: 622
Maya Angelous turbulent experiences through late childhood and adolescence transformed into an almost a positive force in her adult life as they helped enlighten inspire motivate and shape her very being They provided her the vehement fuel that drive her achingly powerful words and allowed her the knowledge and wisdom that led to self-discovery and eventually knowledge of self two endeavors that most of humanity is never able or perhaps willing to acquireHer vivid and startlingly real descriptions of everything from a wild and raucous church revival to her sometimes pitiful crippled Uncle Willie illustrate her life perfectly easily transitioning from one happening to another The description of the truculent and heinous rape she endured at the formative age of eight is as disturbing as it is brutally honest and straight-forward which seems most necessary Maya has a luminous gift for seeing people she understands the core of who they are--a rare ability that stems from her own self-knowledge and inner peace She admires or is displeased with others for characteristics and idiosyncrasies that other people had neither enough sagacity nor intelligence to see She once says of her Uncle WillieUncle Williewas the whipping boy and butt of jokesHe was also proud and sensitiveMaya realizes how children act toward cripples because this is how she acted toward her Uncle Willie---occasionally teasing and often impatientMaya saw along with disability the other largely discriminated against yet uncontrollable factor of birth--color of skin She seemed to understand the pathetic ignorance and contempt behind the white folks treatment of her people even at a very young age This is a painful and incredibly cruel realization and she once comments on its severityIf growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat It is an unnecessary insultMaya knows that being a self-aware Southern black girl arguably creates the most difficult life one could know it
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